ABU DHABI // After a 6-0 victory, most managers would be content. But Franky Vercauteren, the Al Jazira coach, cautioned his players for being complacent and said he had to give them a talking to at half time of their 6-0 thrashing of Emirates in the Etisalat Cup.
"I want my players to play at the same level for all 90 minutes, even if we are leading by three goals," the Belgian said yesterday after his side took their tally to 12 points from five games to extend their lead at the top of their group.
Vercauteren said his players relaxed after going up 3-0 inside 19 minutes and he had to refocus them during the break.
"They must not be satisfied by a 3-0 lead," he said. "It can end up 3-3 if we relax. We were leading 3-0 in the first 20 minutes and suddenly I saw them go flat for the next 20 minutes.
"We finished at 6-0 and that's after I had to talk to them at the break. They raised their game, but I want them to push for more goals all the time. That is the professional approach to any game."
Bare, the Brazilian striker, scored twice and fellow Brazilian Ricardo Oliveira made it 3-0 at the break.
Jazira then put lowly Emirates out of their misery with another from Oliveira just past the hour and late strikes by Ahmed Jumaa and Mohammed Bargash Al Menhali,
The visitors could have pulled one back in the first half after Saleh Basheer was penalised for pulling down Walid Anbar Ismail, but his own effort from the spot was saved by Khalid Al Sinani, the Jazira goalkeeper who was standing in for Khaled Issa, away on national duty.
Vercauteren was at least content with seeing some of his squad players get a chance to shine. As well as Issa, Jazira were missing five other players with the UAE senior team, and Lucas Neill, who was with Australia. Matias Delgado, the Argentine, was left on the bench due to a slight injury.
"Obviously, I am happy with the result and with some of the players, particularly the younger ones who got the opportunity," Vercauteren said. "I want every player at Jazira to be able to play at the same high level whenever they are given the chance.
"We can't play and win four different competitions with 11 players. We have the Pro League, the President's Cup, the Etisalat Cup and the Asian Champions League to play this season. So, if I have 28 players in the squad, I want all of them to play at the same high level at any given time.
"There was a possibility to play Delgado but I didn't want to take any risk when we were well set and leading 3-0 at the break."
Jazira will meet Emirates again next week away in the same competition. Vercauteren believes it could be far more difficult.
"They may strengthen their team for the next game, who knows," he said. "We need to be prepared for every game and perform at the same high level all the time because every team would like to win against Jazira."
Ghazi Ghrairi, the Emirates coach, said they travelled with a depleted side because they were resting their first-team players for their Pro League game with Al Wasl on November 25.
"We rested most of the first-team players for technical reasons and to give some of them more time to recover from their injuries," said the Tunisian.
"We want to keep them fresh for the Wasl game, which is our priority. And against Jazira, we knew the game was beyond our reach after the first 20 minutes. Jazira are still a very strong side despite the absence of several players. They scored three early goals and took the game away from us."
Al Wasl 1 Al Ain 0
Al Wasl Olivera 60’
Juan Manuel Olivera chested down a pass and volleyed it from the edge of the area to give Wasl a victory over Al Ain. A ball from Tariq Hassan allowed Olivera, the Uruguayan striker, to score into the upper-right corner of the goal. Walid Salem, the Al Ain goalkeeper, had no chance. The victory allowed Diego Maradona’s team to jump over Al Ain and into second place in Group A. Ahmed Mahmoud, deputised in goal in the absence of the national-team keeper Majid Naser, was rarely tested and got the clean sheet.
Al Shabab 1 Ajman 0
Al Shabab Mohammed 75’
Essa Mohammed’s strike 15 minutes from time was enough to secure Al Shabab a narrow win over Ajman and let them climb to the top of the Etisalat Cup Group B at the Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium. The result took Shabab, the defending Cup champions, to 12 points from five games, two more than Ajman, the promoted club that have shown good early form. It was Ajman’s first defeat in the Etisalat Cup and the first game from eight this season in which Ibrahima Toure, the Ivorian, played but failed to score.