Al Wahda flex their muscles

The captain Haider Ali believes closing the gap to two points on the leaders, Al Jazira, has given them a springboard to challenge for top place in the Pro League.

The Al Wahda captain, Haider Ali, believes closing the gap to two points on the leaders, Al Jazira, has given them a springboard to challenge for top place in the Pro League. Pinga, the Brazilian, scored the only goal of the match as Wahda overcame Sharjah 1-0 at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Monday, taking full advantage of the 1-1 draw Jazira were held to by Ajman, the bottom club, the previous night.

Jazira are the only unbeaten side and lead the table on 26 points but Wahda are breathing down their neck. "We have a long way to go in the league but moving two points behind the leader is an important step forward," said Ali. "Nothing is guaranteed in football, and we all know that, but we are in a better position now to challenge for the lead. "At this stage with one match left to reach the half way mark, all we would like to do is to win as many points as possible. Jazira are playing Al Wasl on Friday and we are playing Al Nasr away on Sunday, and it would be interesting to see the points standing at the halfway mark in the league."

Wahda defeated Sharjah 2-0 in the Etisalat Cup last week with a second-string team when five of their key players were on national duty and the Brazilian trio of Fernando Baiano, Pinga and Magrao were rested. They were at full strength for the league game but could only muster a single goal. "We could have won by a bigger margin had we scored from the opportunities we created," added Ali. "But we are not worried by the margin of victory, it is the three points we were after, and we are happy we achieved that at the end."

Pinga seven minutes before half time, with a neat left-foot strike after a cross from Mohammed al Shehhi. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae

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