Al Ain boss Zoran Mamic points finger of blame at UAE set-up for tough 2-1 Al Dhafra win

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(Al Ain).

Al Ain boss Zoran Mamic has repeated displeasure with the UAE set-up after his ill-prepared and “not happy” international contingent labored to a trying 2-1 win against Al Dhafra.

A total of seven Boss players were selected by the Whites for this month’s 2-0 loss to Trinidad and Tobago and 3-0 victory against Laos in Catalonia. All of them were, at least, named in the match-day squad for Saturday’s Arabian Gulf League-resumption, in which veteran substitute Ibrahim Diaky’s late double secured victory for the out-of-sorts champions.

This poor performance reopened wounds from August’s Arabian Gulf Super Cup loss to Al Wahda. Arguments had opened up then about the involvement and use of Al Ain stars in a three-week training camp in Austria.

“I remember the first half for Al Ain in the Arabian Gulf Super Cup that took place in Cairo at the beginning of the season,” said Mamic, whose side went 3-0 down before eventually suffering heartbreak in a penalty shootout.

“The international players had just returned from the national team camp and the first half compared to the one today [against Dhafra].

“When the players return, they appear bad.

“The players are generally not good and they are not happy, needing time to adapt to the team.

“They lack the required elements of speed, fitness and energy. They did not participate in the matches as required.

“Mohamed Ahmed played only five minutes, Ahmed Barman played 10 minutes and Mohamed Abdulrahman 20 minutes.

“Amer Abdulrahman played one match and so did Rayan Yaslam. This is difficult for me as a coach, as I am responsible for the results of my team, with respect to the preparations of the team.”

Mamic had been forced to distance himself last weekend from reports linking him to replacing under-pressure tactician Alberto Zaccheroni at the helm of January 2019’s Asian Cup hosts.

With his mind back on club duties, special praise was reserved for the continued influential role performed by 36-year-old midfielder Diaky.

Mamic said: “Diaky is a professional football player who can make a difference at any moment.

“For any player of his age, it is difficult to play the roles he is assigned to on the pitch. What he presented is a lesson for the team’s young players.

“He produced great levels in the summer’s training camp and he plays a very-important role on the bench by guiding and encouraging his team-mates on the pitch.”

Al Ain’s title defence continues on Friday at an Al Nasr side who’ve conceded seven goals in two shock top-flight defeats.

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Veteran Ibrahim Diaky at the double for Al Ain as AGL champions survive Al Dhafra scare

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(Al Ain).

Veteran substitute Ibrahim Diaky showcased his enduring value to Arabian Gulf League-champions Al Ain on Saturday when a late brace off the bench earned a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Al Dhafra.

The visitors to Hazza bin Zayed Stadium got off to a flying start when ex-UAE forward Ahmed Ali stroked a composed shot into the top corner during the ninth minute.

In the absence of Sweden No9 Marcus Berg, who was a late withdrawal through illness, the title holders initially failed to live up to their vaunted billing after the international break.

A damaging defeat appeared on the cards, prior to Diaky’s game-changing interventions.

The 36-year-old midfielder first connected with Egypt international Hussein El Shahat’s low centre with less than 10 minutes remaining. He then capitalised on a defensive error on 87 minutes to head into an empty net on 87 minutes.

Meanwhile, 10-man Al Jazira survived a late scare against promoted Fujairah to earn a thrilling 3-2 triumph.

Brazilian forward Leonardo finished with aplomb on 37 minutes for the hosts at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. Soon after the interval, UAE goalkeeper Ali Khaseif was dismissed for a late challenge.

But this didn’t stop Whites predator Ali Mabkhout’s controlled shot and goalkeeper Saleh Rabee own goal from making it 3-0.

Algerian forward Mohammed Beneyttou lashed in from close range on 87 minutes and then won a penalty that he converted, but these interventions came too late in proceedings.

Meanwhile, coach Jose Luis Sierra earned his first Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club win as Ajman were downed 3-1.

Defender Mohamed Jaber’s scrappy goal opened the scoring just before the break for the vaunted visitors to Rashid bin Saeed Stadium. But the hosts levelled soon after the interval through Morocco midfielder Adel Hermach’s calm finish after another penalty-box scramble.

Shabab Al Ahli were undaunted, however, and fierce efforts from summer additions Emiliano Vecchio and Jaime Ayovi sealed the victory.

ROUND 2 – RESULTS

Friday

Ittihad Kalba 2-0 Emirates Club

Dibba Al Fujairah 1-4 Al Wahda

Bani Yas 1-1 Al Wasl

Sharjah 6-3 Al Nasr

Saturday

Al Ain 2-1 Al Dhafra

Al Jazira 3-2 Fujairah

Ajman 1-3 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club

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Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club fail with bid for Morocco and Galatasaray star Younes Belhanda

David Cooper 15/09/2018
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Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club have been told by Galatasaray to return with an improved €8 million (Dh34.2m) offer for Morocco attacking midfielder Younes Belhanda if they want to complete their ambitious swoop, according to reports.

Belhanda, 28, has earned a reputation as a creative force at Montpellier, Dynamo Kiev, Schalke 04 and Nice. He has registered two assists during four Super Lig run-outs this term for Gala, but a red card for his violent stamp before the international break in a 4-0 thrashing by Trabzonspor has tested the patience of head coach Fatih Terim.

Takvim stated that a €6m (Dh25.6m) bid to take him to the Arabian Gulf League was rejected this week. This must be raised by €2m (Dh8.6m) for it be successful.

Shabab Al Ahli have until October 2’s close of the transfer window in the UAE to seal their swoop for the World Cup 2018 call-up.

They have undertaken an extensive revamp after last season’s trying inaugural campaign that followed the amalgamation of Al Shabab, Al Ahli and Dubai SC.

FC Dallas playmaker Mauro Diaz, Santos loanee Emiliano Vecchio and Beijing Renhe striker Jaime Ayovi have all been added to the foreign quartet during the summer.

Chilean coach Jose Luis Sierra was recruited from King Cup holders Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia to oversee the process.

Injury prone Moldova forward Henrique Luvannor appears most at risk if a change is made. He has been linked to Dubai neighbours Al Nasr and strugglers Emirates Club.

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