Sharjah sent out an ominous message to the opposition when their quartet of fearsome foreigners, led by a ‘perfect’ hat-trick from new boy Ricardo Gomes, were unleashed in unison for the first time in 2019/20 and Ajman were summarily thumped 5-0.
Saturday’s one-sided Arabian Gulf Cup contest at Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Stadium witnessed Cape Verde winger Ryan Mendes crash in an unstoppable 24th-minute free-kick off the crossbar, €3 million ex- Partizan Belgrade striker Gomes score with both feet and his head plus reigning Best Foreign Player Igor Coronado come off the substitute’s bench to delicately chip home. The biggest boost, however, for the Arabian Gulf League holders was the return of dynamic midfielder Otabek Shukurov from March’s fractured leg suffered with Uzbekistan.
“Ajman team is a respectable team and offers good performances,” said boss Abdulaziz Al Anbari, whose side’s opening points sent them into the quarter-final qualification spots at the halfway stage in Group B and provided a morale boost for Saturday’s Arabian Gulf Super Cup showdown with Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club.
“We played the game of Bani Yas with most of our key elements. We tried to do this versus Al Wahda, but injuries of Ryan [Mendes] and Igor [Coronado] did not allow us.
Shabab Al Ahli have been the form team of 2019, finishing up with deserved AG Cup and President’s Cup triumphs. They are expected to provide the sternest challenge for the King’s top-flight crown.
“The Arabian Gulf Super Cup is a showpiece match and we face one of the best teams, with a selection of stars,” said Al Anbari. “We also have good players and we will prepare them to be in the best state.”
Tickets for Saturday’s AG Super Cup at Al Nasr’s Al Maktoum Stadium can be purchased from dubai.platinumlist.net.
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