Al Ahli eager to rebound after stumble against Al Shabab

Sharjah feeling urgency to earn points after two defeats to open season

Abdelaziz Haikal, top, of Al Ahli leaps over a tackle from Carlos Villanueva of Al Shabab during their Arabian Gulf League match at Rashid Stadium in Dubai on September 21, 2014. Ashraf Al Amra / Al Ittihad
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Cosmin Olaroiu is confident that his Al Ahli side can bounce back quickly following a surprising 4-2 loss to Al Shabab last weekend,

The Arabian Gulf League champions are back in action on Friday at winless Al Wasl.

“We paid heavily for that lapse of concentration in the last game,” the manager said. “However, that result is behind us and now we want to win the three points from this game.”

Meanwhile, Shabab coach Caio Junior wants his players to demonstrate that their success over Ahli was no fluke when they face Al Nasr on Friday.

“I have told my players from the beginning that everything is possible in football,” he said. “We had a good start and now we need to take this momentum forward.”

It has been Al Wahda, rather than Ahli, who have set the early pace in the league, and the leaders will look to stretch their impressive winning run of eight games, which goes back to last season’s late charge to second place in the table.

Wahda share the top spot on six points with Al Ain, and they have defender Hamdan Al Kamali back from injury for Friday’s game at Baniyas, who have drawn both their games this season.

Sharjah are the only side to have lost both of their games, and they will look to get their first points on the board on Friday against Kalba, who have earned one point following last weekend's 1-1 draw with Baniyas.

Paulo Bonamigo, the Sharjah coach, said: “There are no easy games in the league. We had two very tough games to start with against Al Ahli and Al Nasr and I would like to think this is an opportunity to get our first points on the board.”

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