Eye on UAE: Baniyas part ways with coach Luis Garcia after AGL struggles

The UAE rout Bangladesh 6-1 in friendly at Mohammed bin Zayed stadium. Amith Passela reports.

Coach Luis Garcia parted ways with Baniyas with still three months of his contract left at the Arabian Gulf League club. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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Baniyas will be in the market to scout for a new coach for the new season early after parting ways with Luis Garcia with still three months of his contract left.

Salem Al Orafi, the former Baniyas player and the technical director of the club who has often been called for the caretaker job, will be in charge until the end of the season.

Garcia joined Baniyas in the 2014/15 season on a two-year deal. The club finished eighth in that season and are currently and are also in eighth as the Spaniard departs, having made an early exit from both the President’s Cup and the Arabian Gulf Cup.

“The club management after evaluating the team’s performance under Garcia this season decided not to continue with his services,” said Hassan Al Marzouqi, the club spokesman. “We made an early settlement of his dues to relieve him of his duties so we have enough time to look for a new coach. The team is now under the capable hands of Salem.

“He knows the players well and has done a pretty good job for us in the past. We are confident he can bring some good results and take us through until the end of the season.”

As a coach, Al Orafi led Baniyas to the Gulf Clubs championship in 2013, and as a player and captained, he won them the President’s Cup in 1992, the club’s biggest achievement until now.

UAE thrash Bangladesh in friendly

The UAE rallied from a 1-1 half time score to rout Bangladesh 6-1 in their friendly at the Mohammed bin Zayed stadium on Friday night.

Ismail Al Hammadi opened the scoring but the visitors cancelled the lead courtesy Mohammed Nawaz.

Salem Saleh was on target twice in the second period with goals from Ahmed Khalil, Ahmed Ali and Al Hammadi, his second of the game, as the UAE eased to a convincing win at the end.

Emirates finish second-best in IIHF Challenge Cup

The UAE had to settle for second-best to Chinese Taipei for the third time in the last three years in the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia.

They went down to the now six-time champions 6-1 in the final and deciding game in the ninth staging of the continental championship on Friday night at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink.

The UAE fell 2-0 behind in the first period and 4-0 at the end of the next as Chinese Taipei took control of the game to complete the week-long competition undefeated.

The host survived a fierce early two-minute period when Ibrahim Bu Debs was sent to the sin-bin for cross-checking.

However, they could not prevent Chinese Taipei from capitalising in the second power play-1 after Ali Al Haddad was sin-binned for interference.

Wen To was the man on target off an assist from Lin Hung Ju in the ninth minute and Lu Ping En struck a minute left in the first period to double the lead and set the platform.

Shen Yen Chin and Lin extended the lead to 4-0 at the end of the second period and they were also on target again in the final period before Juma Al Dhaheri scored a consolation goal for the host.

Mongolia overcame Thailand 7-3 earlier to take third place in the five-nation competition that also included Singapore.

The UAE won the continental title for the first time in 2009 when they hosted the event in Abu Dhabi and again in 2012 in Dehradun, India. Hong Kong were champions in 2011.

Chinese Taipei were the inaugural champions in 2008 and did not take part in the following year. They regained the title in 2010, and on Friday night, they were crowned champions four years in a row.


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