x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Al Ain impress against Kuwaitis

Winfried Schaefer's men emerge as unbeaten champions from the pre-season tournament they hosted after defeating the Kuwaiti powerhouse Al Qadsiya.

AL AIN // After succeeding in annihilating their competition in the precursor to the upcoming season, the Al Ain coach Winfried Schaefer will be hoping for happy times ahead. Schaefer's men were on top of their game in the friendly four-team tournament they hosted, emerging unbeaten champions, after defeating the Kuwaiti powerhouse Al Qadsiya 2-1 in the final round at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium in the small hours of this morning. And judging from the exuberant confidence exuded by Schaefer, the team are looking forward to challenging for success again. Al Ain face Al Nasr at home in the Pro League opener on September 28 and the German will be hoping to fulfil his ambitions of winning the triple crown, one better than the cup double he achieved last season. In Jose Sand, Schaefer has found a striker to replace the Brazilian Andre Diaz, the club's top scorer last season. The Argentine scored his fourth goal in three games to cancel out Al Qadsiya's lead. Sand headed in a cross from Ali al Wehaibi just past the half-hour mark before Al Wehaibi himself put Al Ain ahead in the 67th minute. Qadsiya had drawn first blood through their Kuwaiti international Musaed Neda after 14 minutes. The visitor's were reduced to 10 players on the stroke of half-time when Ali al Nemish was red carded for a horrendous foul on Saif Mohammed and Neda joined him after a second booking seven minutes from time. Schaefer's squad will be further strengthened with the Brazilian forward Marcio Emerson completing the club's foreign signing alongside Sand and Jorge Valdivia, the playmaker from Chile.