x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Al Ahli gaining ground under Ali

The club have profited from their change of manager as the UAE Under 20 team coach has transformed the team's fortunes.

Al Ahli have profited from their change of manager. Mahdi Ali was handed the reins after the sacking of the Romanian Ioan Andone, who was in charge for just six games, and the UAE Under 20 team coach has transformed the team's fortunes. The Pro League champions advanced to the last eight in the President's Cup after a 4-2 win over Sharjah at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on Monday.

The Brazilian forward Bare hit the net four times in the second half for Ahli. Marcelo, Sharjah's Brazilian forward, and Saif Salem were also on target. Ahli will now meet the winner of the rescheduled match between Al Nasr and Al Ittihad Kalba. The game has been postponed until December 13 as a mark of respect for the Nasr forward Salem Saad, who died of a heart attack during training last week. It was Ahli's second win in three games under Ali. The Emirati was too modest to admit he had done any major tinkering before the team's latest success.

"It is still too early to say we have had much success," he said. "This team had a lot of injury problems at the start and the confidence of the players was down after some poor result." "I haven't done any major changes but may have had some influence in changing their attitude. we wanted to go all out to win this game and Bare set the platform early in the second half and I knew we had the game under our control."

Al Shabab joined Al Ahli in the last eight with a 3-1 victory over Al Khaleej at the Khalid bin Mohammed Stadium in Sharjah last night. Adel Abdulla opened the scoring but Khaleej struck the equaliser through Aboubacar Camara just before half-time. Shabab regained the lead 10 minutes into the second half through Pedrao, and Carlos Villanueva added a third to complete the win. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae