Al Ain book place in President’s Cup quarter-finals after narrow win over Al Nasr

Al Jazira, Al Wahda, Al Wasl and Baniyas also through to last-eight

Rafael Pereira is mobbed by his teammates after scoring Al Ain’s winner against Al Nasr in the President’s Cup Round 16 at Al Maktoum stadium on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. Photo: Al Ain Club

Al Ain manager Serhiy Rebrov praised his team's character after the 1-0 win over Al Nasr booked their place in the President’s Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Rafael Pereira, Al Ain’s Brazilian centre-back, headed home the winner 10 minutes from time after an evenly-matched game at Al Maktoum stadium in Dubai.

“This game could have gone either way but the players managed to keep control for much of the 90 minutes and emerge winners at the end, which is the result we wanted on the night,” Rebrov said.

“We play many matches in a short period of time because of the lengthy international breaks and with such interruptions it’s not easy for any team.

“This was a very important match against Nasr being a knockout format. We can take a lot of confidence from this win, particularly after our 3-3 draw against Al Wasl in the Pro League Cup last week.

“We had a few injuries to deal with but the players showed real character and kept their cool by defending well, and then finally finding that all-important goal.”

Joining Al Ain the quarter finals are Al Jazira, Al Wahda, Wasl and Baniyas.

Zayed Al Ameri's fifth-minute goal was enough for Jazira to overcome Al Orooba at the Mohamed bin Zayed stadium.

Wahda were made to toil before Brazilian defender Lucas Pimenta’s header earned them their own 1-0 win in Ajman and a quarter-final meeting with neighbours Jazira.

Fabio Lima found the net twice as Wasl defeated 10-man Khor Fakkan 3-0 away, while Baniyas secured a similar victory over Emirates, also in an away game.

Khor Fakkan were dealt a blow when Ahmed Al Zeyoudi was sent off for a second bookable offence nine minutes before half time and Wasl capitalised on their numerical advantage to score all three goals in the second period.

William Pottker put the visitors ahead on 50 minutes before Lima struck twice to seal the game.

Ahmed Abunamous scored twice in nine minutes in the second half to set the platform for Baniyas. Mohammed Al Hammadi added a third two minutes from time.

Updated: December 22nd 2021, 9:26 AM