x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Al Ghilani’s double a big pleasure for Al Jazira

Filling in for the suspended Paraguay international Nelson Valdez, Ahmed Al Ghilani scored on either side of half time for Al Jazira to register their second victory in four days.

Al Jazira's 18-year-old Ahmed Al Ghilani led his team to victory by scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Baniyas on Thursday. Delores Johnson / The National
Al Jazira's 18-year-old Ahmed Al Ghilani led his team to victory by scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Baniyas on Thursday. Delores Johnson / The National

SHAMKHA // Ahmed Al Ghilani, the 18-year-old forward, turned out to be the unlikely hero in Al Jazira’s 2-1 win over Baniyas.

Filling in for the suspended Paraguay international Nelson Valdez, Al Ghilani scored on either side of half time on Thursday for Jazira to register their second victory in four days.

Luis Farina scored the equalizer, but that was as far as Baniyas got as they suffered a second successive defeat last night at their own stadium.

“Provided with the opportunity Ahmed showed he is as good as any other player in the squad,” said Walter Zenga, the Jazira coach. “As a coach, I want to provide more playing opportunities for the youngsters whenever possible, and youngsters like him would give a better future for the club.”

The result took Jazira’s tally to 19 points and moved them up three places to fourth in the league table.

“It was one of the good games we played from the first minute to the last,” Zenga said. “We are satisfied with the result but even more satisfied with the way we played.

“We created a lot of chances in both halves and Baniyas could only score off a mistake in the first half. They pressed harder in the second half but our defence again did a good job to hold them.”

Jorge da Silva, the Baniyas coach, said he was disappointed with the result but happy with the effort of the players.

“We dropped some valuable points this week and dropped a few places in the point-standings but we will try to come back in the next game,” he said. “We didn’t have a good first half but that didn’t make any difference because the scores were deadlocked.

“We had our chances in the second half to score at least an equalizer but that didn’t happen. We can only keep working hard for better results in the coming games.”

Mohammed Jaber, the Baniyas defender, saved a certain goal when he made a superb clearance from eight yards after Al Ghilami got past the goalkeeper Mohsin Al Hashmi.

Al Ghilani made sure he was on target with a first-time shot on a pass from Yasir Matar, who worked his way inside the right side of the box on a move started by Ricardo Oliveira.

Farina cancelled the lead almost immediately. Ali Kasheif, the Jazira keeper, failed to collect a corner cleanly and the Argentine forward’s shot from the far post deflected off Carlos Munoz and crashed against the back of the net.

Jazira were the more enterprising and more creative but they wasted too many scoring opportunities in the first half.

Al Hashmi did well to hold on to a low shot diving to his right off a free kick from Matar and Kasheif pushed a Munoz effort over the crossbar at the other end early in the second half.

Jazira regained the lead on approaching the hour. Abdullah Mousa’s shot from 40 yards was fumbled by Al Hashmi. The Frenchman Abdelaziz Barrada dragged the ball away on his follow-through and slipped it towards Al Ghilani, who tapped it into an empty net.

Baniyas pressed hard for the equalizer. Mohammed Bargash’s effort from a difficult angle brushed off the bar and Kasheif made a couple of good saves, pushing out a low shot from Nawaf Mubarak and blocking a rocket from Munoz.

apassela@thenational.ae