Matar left frustrated after Hatta spoil Al Wahda’s ‘good work’ on AGL opening night

Balazs Dzsudzsak and team rue missed chances past promoted side, writes Amith Passela.
Rashed Hassan of Al Shabab holds off Fayez Jumaa of Sharjah during their Arabian Gulf League match in Dubai. Courtesy Arshad Khan / AGL
Rashed Hassan of Al Shabab holds off Fayez Jumaa of Sharjah during their Arabian Gulf League match in Dubai. Courtesy Arshad Khan / AGL

Balazs Dzsudzsak, the Hungary captain, endured a frustrating first appearance for Al Wahda.

He failed to make an impression and was substituted as his team was held to a scoreless result by promoted Hatta.

Wahda dominated possession and created quite a few scoring opportunities, yet they failed to break the deadlock on Friday night at the Hatta club’s Hamdan bin Rashid stadium.

“As a team, we played a good game, and created several good scoring chances,” said Ismail Matar, the captain, who came off the bench on the hour to replace Dzsudzsak. “Obviously we are disappointed we couldn’t win the three points.

“It was ours to take but we just couldn’t find the net from the opportunities we had. It was the first league game hopefully we can improve for the next,” he added. “We must also give credit to Hatta for job well done. They were pretty good on spoiling all our good work.”

Also read: Gyan, Abdulrahman, Al Jazira: Big questions before AGL season

For a club returning to the top flight after eight years, Hatta will most certainly be satisfied of their work on the night.

Suhail Al Mansoori, the Wahda winger, came close to breaking the deadlock twice. His shot from inside the area ricocheted off the crossbar and the next was cleared from the line by Mousa Al Baloushi, the Hatta captain.

Hatta stepped up their attack in the second half but it was Wahda who came close to scoring again.

Al Mansoori’s low shot was stopped by Obaid Raihan, the Hatta goalkeeper, not cleanly but enough to prevent it from rolling over the line. And he did well again to block Jorge Valdivia’s effort from close range.

In the other games, Al Shabab got their campaign off to a winning start when they came from a goal down to snatch a 2-1 result over Sharjah at the Maktoum bin Rashid stadium.

Jamal Maroof charged down from outside the area to knock in a cross from Waleed Ahmed for a 25th minute lead for the visitors.

Mohammed Marzooq cancelled it on 68 minutes before Brazilian Luvannor Henrique put Shabab in front from a spot kick awarded against Abdulla Ghanim for handling the ball seven minutes from time.

Kalba too got their campaign off to a bright start.

Romanian Mihai Alexendru’s second-half strike saw them clinch a 1-0 win over another promoted club, Dibba, at the Fujairah stadium.

apassela@thenational.ae

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Published: September 16, 2016 04:00 AM

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