DOHA // Wanderley has warned his Al Nasr teammates not to rest on their laurels when they face El Jaish again in the Asian Champions League next month.
The Brazil-born forward, a summer signing from Sharjah, had a dream debut for the Dubai club on Wednesday, scoring twice in the 3-0 quarter-final first-leg victory in Doha. He was later voted the tournament’s player of the round.
The three unanswered away goals place Nasr in an incredibly strong position to progress to the last four — a remarkable feat considering they are contesting the Champions League knockout stages for the first time.
More from Asian Champions League:
• El Jaish 0-3 Al Nasr reaction: Al Nasr 'must forget this result when we play in Dubai'
• John McAuley on Wanderley: Wanderley a significant upgrade on Al Nasr's Asian aspirations
• Al Ain 0-0 Lokomotiv reaction: Zlatko Dalic 'happy' after Al Ain's draw at home to Lokomotiv
However, Wanderley, 27, said Nasr must guard against complacency in the return leg at Al Maktoum Stadium on September 14. El Jaish, who themselves have never reached this stage of the competition, boast serious talent in frontmen Sardor Rashidov and Romarinho, while Seydou Keita, the former Sevilla, Barcelona and Roma midfielder, made his debut for the club on Wednesday.
“For sure, the next game, El Jaish will come to attack us at our home, but we need to keep our concentration and we need to respect them,” Wanderley said. “We will do our best and we will fight a lot.
“El Jaish have very good strikers and their defenders are strong, who fight a lot also. That is why we need to respect them and do our best inside the pitch. I say congratulations to everybody for the first win, all the players gave everything on the pitch. But we still need to keep our concentration for the next game because it’s not finished.”
Understandably, Wanderley is viewed as key to Nasr’s chances, both of passing through to the semi-finals and of a sustained tilt at this season’s Arabian Gulf League title. His transfer to the club was protracted, but Nasr were determined to acquire a striker last month who scored 32 goals in 51 league matches for Sharjah across the two previous seasons.
Wanderley thanked his new teammates for smoothing the transition.
“I am very happy, because everybody gives confidence to me, everybody says good things about my personality since I came,” he said. “I train a lot and I train hard to give something on the pitch for everybody and the club.”
Asked if Nasr can begin to dream about a place in the Champions League final, Wanderley added: “This is only the first point, we need to win the second game and only after that can we talk about the semi-final and then the final.”
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport