Al Jazira new boy  Mirko Vucinic is making his presence felt already. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National
Al Jazira new boy Mirko Vucinic is making his presence felt already. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

New boys make good first impression with Al Jazira



ABU DHABI // The newcomers Mirko Vucinic and Jonathan Pitroipa were on target in their debut as Al Jazira emerged 2-0 winners over Saudi Arabia's Abha in a friendly at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

It was Jazira's first game under new coach Eric Gerets.

The match was played in three periods to provide more playing opportunities for the players from both teams.

The second-flight Saudi club arrived earlier in the week and has been holding a training camp at Jazira as part of their preparation for the new season.

Vucinic, the Montenegro international who arrived from the Italian champions Juventus, put the home side ahead in the second minute.

Pitroipa, the other new signing, who arrived from Ligue 1 club Rennes, added the second shortly before the first break.

Gerets tried three combinations in the three periods of play. He started with seemingly his strongest line-up with all four foreigners – Abdelaziz Barrada, Jucilei da Silva, Vucinic and Pitroipa – before bringing on the fringe players.

“This game was played on mutual agreement and short notice between the two teams,” said Ayedh Mabkhout, the Jazira team manager.

“It was beneficial for both teams tough, providing very useful workouts for the players as well as a good idea of the combinations to the technical staffs of both the teams.

“This game must have surely provided our coach a good idea of his players so he can continue to monitor them on their skill levels, physical and mental elements.”

Meanwhile, Jazira and Felipe Caicedo have agreed to terminate the three-year contract the Ecuador international signed in January.

The World Cup veteran has since joined the Spanish top-flight side Espanyol.

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