Serhiy Rebrov lauds 'mighty effort' as Al Ain celebrate Adnoc Pro League title

Champions Al Ain finish 10 points clear of Sharjah in the Adnoc Pro League

Al Ain were crowned Adnoc Pro League champions at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Thursday, May 26, 2022. Photo: PLC
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Having secured the Adnoc Pro League title with four games left, Al Ain were officially crowned the champions for the 14th time on the final day of the league at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Thursday.

Even though they were held by Sharjah 1-1, the players, technical staff and fans celebrated their moment of glory.

Al Ain manager Serhiy Rebrov said winning the league and the Pro League Cup was a team effort.

“It was a mighty effort from the players and technical staff, the backing we had from our management and of course the fans who have been behind us at every game,” the Ukrainian said.

Al Ain were consistent throughout the league competition with just one defeat in 26 matches. They finished on 65 points, 10 more than Sharjah, followed by Al Wahda (53), Al Jazira (45) and Shabab Al Ahli (43).

“I’m very proud of my lads,” Rebrov said. “It has been a very hard campaign, particularly towards the end when the weather became hotter and harder for the players to continue with the same energy levels.

“The titles alone are sometimes not as important as the improvements, and keeping pace with development and working with team spirits. We had all that during this campaign.”

Rebrov has yet to be offered a contract extension but insisted defending the league title would be a harder task.

“With the season now over, obviously I’ll have a meeting with the club management,” he said when asked of his future at the club.

“I'm actually still part of the team, and I have a month left on my contract.

“Next season will certainly not be easy for us. We have to be more serious because we are the champions and we are required to maintain our position by adding more strength to every line of play.”

On Thursday, Sharjah opened the scoring when Brazilian Caio Lucas defeated goalkeeper Mohammed Bu Sandah for a 38th minute lead.

Sharjah were reduced to 10 men just past the hour when Meloni was given the marching orders for a second bookable offence after a foul on Soufiane Rahimi outside the area.

Al Ain capitalised on their numerical advantage almost immediately as left-back Erik Jorgens equalided on 66 minutes.

In the other games, Shabab Al Ahli got the better of Khor Fakkan 2-1, Baniyas were held by Kalba 1-1 and Ajman outplayed Emirates 3-1 to climb one place above Al Nasr to finish seventh in the table.

Updated: May 27, 2022, 8:15 AM