x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Al Wahda have to settle for a draw

The hosts rally back to negate an early strike from city rivals Al Jazira but are left to rue many missed chances in the first leg of the semi-final.

ABU DHABI // The Al Wahda captain Haider Ali was left to rue on his team's missed chances as they managed to eke out a draw after city rivals Al Jazira took an early lead in the first of the double header semi-finals of the Etisalat Cup at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Thursday. Jazira had drawn first blood through Mohammed Suroor in the 10th minute. The Brazilian Fernando Baiano restored parity soon after the break, but Wahda failed to add to their tally from the several scoring chances they created. "We did well to come back from a goal down but missed too many scoring opportunities, particularly after we scored," said Ali. "We created quite a few chances and also had some free kicks within scoring range but we didn't have the luck. "It is still a better result because we didn't lose. And any game against Jazira is a big game, for us as well as for them. It is out third meeting and it stands as a win each and this draw. Now we have to go out there and win the away game, and we are hopeful."

The Jazira striker Suroor, who signed for them from Al Ahli during the January transfer, also felt they can return satisfied. "Can't be disappointed with the result and I would like to think we have a better chance playing at home," he said. "It was nice to score for Jazira and obviously looking forward to contribute for the team's success." Ajman, fighting relegation in the Pro League, also did well to come back from a goal down for a 1-1 draw against Al Ain at the Rashid bin Saeed Stadium. Jose Sand put the visitors ahead from a spot kick he earned himself after the Argentine striker was brought down by the goalkeeper Jamal Abdulla for a 1-0 lead at half time, and Ajman's Ivorian forward Boris Kabi headed the equaliser in the second half. apassela@thenational.ae