x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Al Shabab 2 Baniyas 0

Essa Obaid opened the scoring for Al Shabab and Edgar Bruno added the insurance in a 2-0 win over Baniyas.

DUBAI // Marcos Paqueta, the Al Shabab coach, has made it clear points matter more to him than entertaining football as his team opened their Pro League campaign with an impressive 2-0 win over Baniyas on Monday night.

Essa Obaid opened the scoring for the hosts in the 22nd minute and Edgar Bruno doubled the tally in the 79th minute, but Shabab failed to match the tempo they played at against Al Ahli in the 1-1 Etisalat Cup match last week.

Paqueta, however, was pleased with the performance of his side and said: "Today's football is very hard.

"You have to defend first and then create your opportunities to score. That's what we did today. We stifled the opponents and created plenty of chance.

"Had we converted all of them, we would have won by more than two goals.

"So we played well and I am satisfied with our performance. That's the most important thing."

Without any "star" players in their side, Paqueta believes his team cannot substitute sturdy team performances for fancy football purely to entertain the crowd.

"They were very organised, played good tactical football and worked together," he said. "That is very important for us. We have to work as a group because we don't have stars like the other teams. So tactical balance is very important.

"We are not here to put on a good show and lose. We are here to win and get the points in the bag."

Baniyas looked a bit undercooked last night and to add to their woes, Mohamed Zidan limped out of the game in the 33rd minute with a suspected hamstring injury.

Jozef Chovanec, the Baniyas coach, is hoping the Egyptian will be fit to play their next game against Kalba on Friday and his team put on a better performance.

"The injury of Zidan affected us as a team and [Andre] Senghor was left alone in the box," Chovanec said.

"We did not play a good game, but hopefully we will play a good match next time. We have good players."

arizvi@thenational.ae

Al Shabab Obai 23’, Bruno 79’

Man of the match Ciel (Al Shabab)

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