Team Manager Says Al Ain Able to Qualify in Riyadh Game
Zoran Leaves for Zagreb to Check On His Brother Medical Condition
Al Ain First Team Manager, Matar Obeid Al Daheri “Al Sahbani”, has said that the team Head Coach Zoran Mamic left the country in the wee hours of yesterday for Zagreb in order to check on his brother’s medical condition.
Al Sahbani said, “The Croatian Head Coach is expected to return in the evening of Friday,” pointing out that the team, following the continental game, is getting ready for the local season which kicks off with an Arabian Gulf Cup game against Hatta on September 4th.
“The players were given two days off before resuming training sessions on Saturday,” Al Sahbani said.
The Garden City club will be missing services of eight international players who joined their national teams. Seven of them, namely Khalid Issa, Mohannad Salem, Ismail Ahmed, Mohamed Ahmad, Ahmed Barman, Mohamed Abdul Rahman and Omar Abdul Rahman, joined the UAE National Team. “Sweden International Marcus Berg joined his national team,” he noted.
“I think that the Hatta game will be a very good chance for the non-international players and those who just returned from injury. The team of course looks forward to winning all games even if they are friendly games,” the Team Manager added.
Commenting on the away match against Saudi Arabia’s Hilal in the AFC Champions league quarter-final, Al Sahbani said, “With due respect to the aspirations of the Saudi team, Al Ain is able to qualify to the semi-finals in Riyadh.”
He stressed that Al Ain Management is confident that Mamic is able to set up the appropriate team plan to overcome Hilal in Saudi.
“Al Ain is very experienced in the continental tournament,” Al Sahbani said, pointing out that the Garden City Club secured their spot in the AFC Champions League semi-final after a draw with Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv in the UAE and winning 1-0 in Uzbekistan.
“We are fully aware that Al Hilal is a great team and that every team will exert the utmost effort before the away match,” Al Sahbani said.
Commenting on the home game, he said, “The team players had a good performance and had many opportunities to score, including a real opportunity to score by Mohamed Abdul Rahman in the first five minutes of the game. Also in the second half, the team was very eager to score and we had many chances, mainly two by Omar Abdulrahman and Dyanfres Douglas, however, the visitors had chances to score,” the Al Ain official said.
Al Sahbani concluded that the team performance has been badly affected after receiving a red card, as the coach had to substitute a striker by a defender.