Patchwork Al Wahda do just enough to see off Al Dhafra
ABU DHABI // Considering the diminished numbers, the Al Wahda coach Jose Peseiro was relieved that his team overcame injuries and a suspension to beat Al Dhafra 2-1 on Thursday to remain unbeaten and atop the Arabian Gulf League.
The manager said Wahda had 10 players recovering from injuries, while Hamdan Al Kamali, the centre back, was serving a one-match ban for accumulating three yellow cards.
“I am not satisfied with the performance, but the result was important,” Peseiro said. “We also had one day less than Dhafra to prepare for this game.
“So it was a difficult match for us under these circumstances, and therefore, I would like to congratulate my players for a good job done.”
Sebastian Tagliabue and Amer Omar provided Wahda with a sound lead until a strike from Makhete Diop cut the gap in half, a score that held up over some tense final minutes last night at the Al Nahyan Stadium.
Diop’s goal created a renewed challenge from Dhafra that kept the game alive until the final whistle.
“We had a good second half, yet we failed to score from the chances we created,” said Marion Ion, the Dhafra coach. “The lack of the final touch has been our problem. This is an area for which we need to find solutions, although we have been working on it for a long time.”
Tagliabue opened the scoring. Damian Diaz sent a corner for Hussain Fadhel, who headed it back from the far side of the box before the Argentine fired in a spectacular bicycle kick.
Omar doubled the lead early in the second half to seemingly take the game to safety for the home team.
Tagliabue picked up a through pass from Diaz, worked his way inside the box, and then drew the Dhafra defence before slipping in a pass to Omar, who scored his sixth league goal.
Diop pulled one back to keep the game alive. The Senegalese completed an excellent piece of work in front of the goalmouth off a corner.
Ismail Matar, the veteran forward and Wahda captain, made his first start of the season, while midfielders Adil Hermach, the Moroccan international, and Mohammed Al Shehhi, sat out because of injuries.
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Published: December 5, 2014 04:00 AM