Ali Mabkhout has set his sights on concluding his standout season at Al Jazira by firing the club to the President’s Cup crown.
The UAE international forward, 25, has been in fantastic form this campaign, scoring 29 goals in 31 matches. In the Arabian Gulf League alone, he found the net 23 times — a record return for an Emirati in the professional era — to finish second in the goalscoring charts, behind Al Wahda’s Sebastian Tagliabue.
Mabkhout’s contribution represented one of the only positives for Jazira to take from the league season, with the capital side struggling through the first half of the campaign before eventually finishing seventh.
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The President’s Cup has offered Jazira some relief, though. Last Friday, Mabkhout struck a hat-trick in the President’s Cup semi-final victory against UAE champions Al Ahli to set up Sunday’s showpiece with Al Ain. Should they triumph at Zayed Sports City, Jazira will lift the cup for a third time.
“Of course, I’m so happy to have scored a hat-trick in the semi-final to help my team through to the final, but I hope now we can take the cup,” Mabkhout said. “Because after the disaster in the league this season, to win the cup is very important for the team.
“We all want this President’s Cup, we put all our focus on this and hopefully we’ll do it.”
Even despite his record run with Jazira, Mabkhout is intent on improving on those numbers for the 2016/17 season
“For me, it’s the best season in my life,” he said. “But I hope next season will be even better. I need to continue, not stop here.”
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