Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Al Wahda players celebrate substitute Saeed Al Kathiri's winner against Abu Dhabi rivals Al Jazira to advance to the semi-finals. Al Ittihad
Al Wahda players celebrate substitute Saeed Al Kathiri's winner against Abu Dhabi rivals Al Jazira to advance to the semi-finals. Al Ittihad

President's Cup: Al Wahda win local bragging rights against rivals Al Jazira

Saeed Al Kathiri, an 89th-minute substitute, scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory to send Al Wahda through to the President's Cup semi-final at Al Jazira's expense, writes Paul Oberjuerge.

The public perception may be that Al Jazira have dominated the capital derby in recent years. Abu Dhabi Island's younger club won the 2011 league plate and the President's Cup that year, 4-0 over Al Wahda, and defended it in 2012.

Wahda, however, have had memorable moments of their own in the derby. The 2010 league championship, with Jazira beaten into second despite only one defeat in 22 league games; the 2011 Super Cup in a 6-5 shoot-out over their rivals; and, last night, a taut 2-1 victory at the Baniyas Stadium that lifted them into the President's Cup semi-finals - at Jazira's expense.

After 90-plus minutes of a finely balanced if not always artistic struggle, Saeed Al Kathiri, an 89th-minute substitute, controlled a short pass from Ismail Matar, pivoted near the penalty spot as Jazira's exhausted defence struggled to catch up, and powered a heavy shot past goalkeeper Ali Kasheif.

For most of the second half, it seemed as if Marcelo Oliveira's first-half goal would be enough for Wahda. The former Sharjah man, who only a few days before had been deemed surplus to requirements, was called back into the squad when the Gabon forward Eric Mouloungi suffered a relapse of his leg injury. His goal was a fine header on a cross from Essa Ahmed.

Jazira struggled for an hour to break down a Wahda defence led by the Bosnian-Australian newcomer Dino Djulbic, a 6ft, 4ins tower in the middle of the back line. Djulbic clogged the middle and made Ricardo Oliveira, the prolific striker, all but disappear.

Wahda seemed to invite probes on their right by Fernandinho, but the little Brazilian was routinely stymied by the right-back Ahmed, and once was booked for diving. Just when it looked as if Jazira were out of ideas, Matias Delgado took matters in to his own hands, finding space from 25 yards out and firing a shot that deflected off the right hand of Adel Al Hosani, the Wahda keeper, knotting the score.

"A lot of effort from our players; we came back after Wahda scored their goal," said Paulo Bonamigo, the Jazira manager. "But a match like that is decided by small things, and it went in their favour."

Jazira now have one fewer competition to concern themselves with. They are strong candidates for the Etisalat Cup semi-finals, are second in the league table and open Asian Champions League competition in two weeks.

Wahda have no chance to win the league, and are out of the Champions League for the second year running, but they are now only two victories from their first President's Cup championship since 2000. If they are to win it, eliminating Jazira en route will make it seem even sweeter.



twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Yuvraj Singh, left, and Virat Kohli of Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrating after they won their IPL match against Delhi Daredevils at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 action at Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s power-hitters laid down a marker at the first opportunity in IPL 2014 as they cruised past a hapless Delhi Daredevils with eight wickets, 20 deliveries, and about three more gears to spare in front of a packed house at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Opening performance during Day 3 of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the First Gulf Bank Arena at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al-Marzooqi/ The National

In pictures: Day 3 of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

All the action from Day 3 of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the First Gulf Bank Arena at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi.

 Atletico Madrid's Cristian Rodriguez, second left, celebrates his goal with team mates, and coach Diego Simeone, third right. Atletico are on the cusp of a Primer Liga title. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

Atletico Madrid look to edge towards Primera Liga title before Chelsea visit

Diego Simeone's men need to win just four of their five remaining games to seal the Primera Liga championship and they take on Elche before the first leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final against Chelsea on Tuesday.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National