x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Al Wahda enjoy farewell party for Josef Hickersberger

The 3-2 win over Al Jazira kept their home record intact, while the coach and three Brazilians bid farewell to the capital club.

Ismail Matar, the Al Wahda forward, had a chance to score in last night's game against Al Jazira.
Ismail Matar, the Al Wahda forward, had a chance to score in last night's game against Al Jazira.

ABU DHABI // The Al Wahda players and fans gave Josef Hickersberger, the coach, the perfect send off with victory over city rivals Al Jazira in his last home game at the Al Nahyan Stadium last night.

The 3-2 result also kept Wahda's unbeaten record, five wins and six draws, in the UAE Pro League at home.

Hickersberger will leave at the end of the season after managing Wahda for nearly four years. He led them to the Pro League title in 2010, fourth last season and now in fifth with one game left.

The Brazilians Fernando Baiano, Magrao and Hugo were also appearing in their last home game as their contracts will not be renewed by Wahda. But the trio, along with the Emirati players, rallied around their coach to give him the best possible present in his last home game.

Magrao scored and set up Baiano for the two first-half goals and Haider Ali, the captain, added a third on the hour for the home side to come from a goal down for the win and take their tally to 33 points after their fourth consecutive league victory.

Abdullah Mousa rose above the Wahda defenders to head Matias Delgado cross to give the visitors an early lead. Bare, the Brazilian striker scored a late goal, but it was too late and too little for Jazira.

Bare had a golden opportunity to double the lead after breaking the offside trap off a long ball, but he failed to get past the lone Wahda goalkeeper Adel Al Hosani in the 13th minute.

Magrao struck the equaliser on the half hour, seconds after Ismail Matar's effort from just outside the penalty area crashed against the crossbar. And the scorer turned the provider with a neat lobbed pass for Fernando Baiano to head the ball on to the back of an empty net with Ali Kasheif, the Jazira goalkeeper, out of his position.

Wahda for the first time in the season had all their key players in the line-up and it may have been to give the departing coach a farewell win.

Jazira rested Ricardo Oliveira, the Brazilian forward, and Ibrahim Diaky, the captain and central midfielder. Also, Subait Khater, the experienced midfielder, was replaced in the second half by Ali Abbas.

apassela@thenational.ae

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