x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Wahda coach counts the positives after being held at home

Despite being held 2-2 after taking the lead, Josef Hickersberger reckons the quality of the match beckons good ahead of the President's Cup final.

ABU DHABI // Josef Hickersberger, the Al Wahda coach, had a lot of positives to take from their 2-2 draw with Al Jazira in the Pro League at the Al Nahyan stadium last night.

Al Shehhi opened the scoring but Jazira took the lead through their Brazilian Bare and Ricardo Oliveira before Ismail Matar secured the draw for Hickersberger's side.

"The performance of my team was really good and that's the most important thing for me because we will face Jazira again in the in President's Cup final," he said. "It gave us a good feeling that if we play like we did in this game we can win that final.

"We played at a good level against Persepolis (1-1) in the Asian Champions League in Iran and in the UAE President's Cup semi-final with Al Wasl (3-1). This was the best yet, and some players are getting better and better like Mohammed al Shehhi."

"I think both teams realise there is not much difference between the two after this match," said Hickersberger.

"It was a big game for both teams. Many players know each other and it was good rivalry because I didn't see a bad foul in the whole match. It was a fascinating game and maybe one of the best matches I have seen in my three years in the UAE."

Wahda play Al Ain next in the league on Thursday and Hickersberger said their focus would be in the next game and not the President's Cup final on April 11.

"The Cup final comes later and for me the next match with Al Ain is the most important," he said. "But as we play Jazira in the Cup final, I must say this result was very significant for both teams.

Abel Braga, the Jazira coach, shared similar sentiments but said they made a big mistake to allow Wahda to equalize after they had taken the lead.

"My players got carried away after they scored the second goal," said the Brazilian. "They were still celebrating when Wahda scored the equalizer. That was a big mistake and that annoys me. It cost us the game. It was a very entertaining match. They were on the ball throughout the 90 minutes."

 

apassela@thenational.ae