x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Asian Champions League: Al Jazira draw another blank under Luis Milla

Al Jazira were left with a mountain to climb after Al Jaish of Qatar held them to a 1-1 result in the Asian Champions League.

Ricardo Oliveira, in white, goes past Ko Seulki of Al Jaish but could not find the goal. Satish Kumar / The National
Ricardo Oliveira, in white, goes past Ko Seulki of Al Jaish but could not find the goal. Satish Kumar / The National

ABU DHABI // Al Jazira were left with a mountain to climb after Al Jaish of Qatar held them to a 1-1 result in the Asian Champions League.

They now need to win the two remaining Group A matches, against Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia and Tractor Sazi of Iran, to have any hope of reaching the last 16, as they did last year.

Sultan Bargash opened the scoring and Adriano levelled it for the visitors in the second-leg meeting of the two teams last night at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

The result also left the Jazira coach Luis Milla's record reading more dismal: one win in 10 games in all competitions.

Ricardo Oliveira, the top scorer in the ACL with a dozen goals last year, missed a golden opportunity to put Jazira ahead. Ali Mabkhout set him up inside the area with a well-timed through pass only to see the Brazilian shoot it wide with only the goalkeeper Abdullah Aish to beat.

Fernandinho, the Brazilian forward, and Ibrahim Diaky, the captain and midfielder, were both left on the bench for Ali Mabkhout and Sultan Bargash. The ploy worked as Bargash scored the vital first goal when he guided Oliveira's low cross from eight yards out to the back of the net.

The joy of home fans was short-lived, though, as Adriano fired the equaliser with a stinging shot from inside the area from space created by Saad Al Shammari.

Ali Kasheif, the Jazira keeper, did well to punch over a dipping shot from Wagner Ribeiro and Oliveira was again off target from the edge of the box after Matias Delgado sent him a through pass at the other end.

Fernandinho replaced Bargash on the 55th minute and Diaky came in for Delgado with 11 minutes left, but the visitors held on to return with a valuable away point.

Jazira had an opportunity to score from a free-kick dead in front of the goal and just outside the area but Subait Khater's effort crashed against the wall of defenders on the 90th minute.

apassela@thenational.ae

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