He was not deemed good enough for Al Ahli, but the 31-time Bulgarian champions and two-time European Cup semi-finalists CSKA Sofia have chosen the Romanian Ioan Andone as their new head coach Andone, 49, who was sacked by the Pro League champions six games into the season in November, signed an 18-month contract with the Bulgarian club, who last won the league in 2008. "It's a big honour for me," Andone said. "I know a lot about CSKA, they're really a big club. We've talked about CSKA's goals and I agreed. Our main target will be to win the league title and play in the Champions League next season.
Luboslav Penev resigned as CSKA coach on Wednesday, after failing to offer a guarantee that he could take the club to the league title. The CSKA chief executive Ventsislav Zhivkov warned on Thursday that his replacement would have to win the league and cup double or face the sack. Meanwhile, Toninho Cerezo said that the result is more important than the performance after an injury-time winner from the Argentine striker Jose Sand secured a crucial 2-1 home win for Al Ain against Sharjah in the Pro League.
Sand scored his 11th league goal of the season two minutes into added time to seal all three points. The result kept Al Ain firmly in the title race. They stay in third place on 23 points, six behind the leaders Al Jazira. "No game is won until the final whistle," said Cerezo. "We doubled our effort in the second half and were rewarded at the end." Toufeeq Abdulrazaq fired an injury-time winner as Al Dhafra beat the champions Al Ahli 5-4 in a thriller last night.