Al Ain player, Japan’s Tsukasa Shiotani, underlined the importance of his team’s coming match against Al Sharjah as part of the quarterfinals of the Arabian Gulf Cup.
He also pointed out: “We are approaching a decisive qualifying stage to the finales of the competition. Indeed, the Arabian Gulf Cup is a golden chance for the non-international players to show their quality skills and contributed a lot to the qualification of the team to the quarterfinals. I am sure all of us know what we are meant to do to ensure qualifying to the semi-final stage.”
Shiotani expected that the team would receive massive support from the loyal Ainawi fans as the team will be playing at home and among its grassroots.
“Undoubtedly, fans’ constant support triggers the team’s inner energy to achieve the desired aspirations. Al Ain is an important player in the lineup of the “Boss”, and they do not need an invitation to be there behind the team on Friday.”
Stressed the Importance of Players’ High Concentration Against Sharjah.. Leko: I Have A Full Trust in Al Ain Players
Croatia’s Ivan Leko, Head Coach of Al Ain First Football Team, stated that his team’s clash match against Al Sharjah in the quarterfinal of the Arabian Gulf Cup would have only one winner. “Therefore, we have to deal with the match details with high concentration as we know we are facing a good and quality opponent. However, I have full trust in all the star warriors who would be selected for the squad lineup.”
“We trained well during the past days, and all the players know well what they are meant to do in the upcoming match. They are all required to exhibit their high level of concentration and do their best. I do hope that we will be lucky enough to secure a great and strong result that guarantees the team’s qualification to the next stage of the competition,” that Leko added in the match press-conference.
As for the “international” players and whether he is keen to involve them in the next match, he said: “My strategy is straightforward when it comes to the selection of the team’s lineup. It is based on who is fit and best in training sessions. During the two recent matches in the Arabian Gulf Cup, I involved more young players.”
“We missed Nader Yahiya for being injured, in addition to Ahmad Barman, Mohammed Ali Shaker, Rayan Yaslam and Abdul Rahman Meziane, and many other injured players. Also, I granted Shiotani and Caio Canedo a short break in the last match. At any rate, all fit players will play against Al Sharjah,” Leko concluded.
As part of the celebrations sponsored by Al Ain Club marking the 48th UAE National Day, the Hazza Bin Zayd Stadium hosts the celebratory programs organized by the Al Ain City Municipality, marking the dearest occasion during 2-3 December 2019.
H.E. Dr. Matar Al Darmaki, Chairman of Al Ain Football Club Company, availed the opportunity to extended to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, his sincerest and warmest greetings and congratulations on the occasion of the 48th UAE National Day.
“This dearest national occasion to the hearts of citizens and residents of our blessed homeland is an opportunity to express their sincere loyalty to our wise leaders who have followed in the footsteps of the founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the leading founders, may God rest their soul in peace.” Dr. Al Darmaki stated.
He added: “The UAE journey was further enhanced at a steady pace until our homeland turned to be a bright spot in the world map when it comes to advancement, growth, and development achieved since the establishment of the Union.”
Dr. Al Darmaki underlined: “We mark the UAE National Day every year while experiencing a lovely reality signified by the great development achievements within the framework of a comprehensive development vision. This has made the UAE at the forefront because of the priorities of our wise leadership. These priorities are based on a clear vision reflected in caring for the future and the present through development with full confidence while relying heavily on sound planning plus arming and supporting the Emiratis, who are the fundamental pillar of the future of our beloved State, with science and knowledge.
Mr. Chairman expressed his sincere wishes to have this occasion as a significant opportunity to renew loyalty, belonging, and love to the homeland and its wise leadership.
He concluded by saying: “We are to move forward towards next year with great confidence that our homeland would realize its aspirations under the great vision of the UAE wise leadership based on science, knowledge, values and national traits.”
“Our match against Khorfakkan was not that bad, specifically in the first forty minutes and prior conceding the first goal. We had an absolute control and taking the lead over the home team by double goals,” Croatia’s Ivan Leko, head coach of Al Ain Football Team, stated in the post-match media conference.
He went on to say: “It takes only one mistake to change the balance of the power of the team on the pitch. Statistics showed that the team possessed the ball by 65% prior conceding the first goal. The team sent 20 direct shots on the home team’s goal; however, we were playing while Khorfakkan players were scoring goals. indeed, we did not play tonight’s match to lose.”
Al Ain head coach insisted that he would not seek any excuses to justify losing the match result as the team was to perform better. “Currently, we have to focus on a new challenge in the quarterfinal stage and would not allow any mistakes related to losing focus.”
Al Ain lost to hosts Khorfakkan by 4-2 in the match held between the two teams on 28th November 2019 at Khalid Bin Mohammed Stadium in Sharjah Club as part of the final stages of the Arabian Gulf Cup.
The first half of the game ended with Al Ain taking the lead by 2-1. Al Ain team scored through Franc’s Omar Yassin “15” and Mohammed Abdul Rahman “36”. Khorfakkan scored through Bismarck Vieira who scored double and one from the penalty point “41-89”, Rafael Gomes “48” and Mohammed Malallah “54”.
Despite the loss, Al Ain ended this stage at the first spot of Group (A) with 11 points, Meanwhile, Khorfakkan raises their tally to seven points and ended at the fourth spot.
Al Ain: 2
Goals: Omar Yassin “15” – Mohammed Abdul Rahman “36”.
Starting Lineup: Mohamed Said Bu Senda – Mohannad Al Enezi – Ismail Ahmed – Said Jumaa – Salem Abdullah – Mohammed Hilal – Falah Walid – Omar Yassin – Mohammed Abdul Rahman – Jamal Marouf and Laba Kodjo.
Substitutions: Mohamed Ahmed replaced Saeed Jumaa “44” – Khalid Al Blooshi replaced Mohammed Hilal “54” – Ali Al Hizani replaced Salem Abdullah “83”.
Yellow Cards: Salem Abdullah “35” – Ismail Ahmed “85”.
Red Cards: None
Goals: Bismarck Vieira from the penalty spot “41” – Rafael Gomes “48” – Mohamed Malallah “54”- Bismarck Vieira “89”.
Starting Lineup: Mohamed Youssef – Robson de Paula – Qualme Lutoni – Bismarck Vieira – Ahmed Al Hafiti – Adel Sabil – Rafael Gomes – Mohammed Malallah – Abdullah Yousef and Omar Ahmed.
Substitutions: Antonio Junior replaced Abdullah Yousef “23” – Luka Farias replaced Omar Ahmed “60” – Abdula Aziz Ismail replaced Mohamed Malallah “79”.
Yellow Cards: Mohamed Youssef “90” – Ahmed Ibrahim “90 + 4”.
Red Cards: None.
The match was managed by Yahiya Al Mulla, “Match Referee” assisted by Mohamed Ali Hilal, “First Assistant”, Salah Salem “Second Assistant “, Saqer Al Zaabi “Fourth Official” and Sultan Sahoo, “Referees Assessor” and Yasser Bu Majeed “Match Commissioner”.
In a statement he made during the pre-match media conference of matchweek 7 of the Arabian Gulf Cup, Al Ain defender Salem Abdullah stressed that it is essential to keep on the track of victories.
He added: “Once you wear the Boss badge, you must realize that all the squad’s matches are important. We have no other choice except to show the competitors our genuine spirit of fighting while defending Al Ain badge regardless of how important such a match is for the team. We are playing matches for history.”
He signed off: “We are looking forward to the next match to prove that we deserve to top this group.”