x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Baroud: 'Shaab win vital'

The Al Dhafra coach Eid Baroud believes their game against Al Shaab will be crucial to survival in the Pro League.

Eid Baroud believes Al Dhafra's next game against Al Shaab will be crucial to their survival in the Pro League for the next season. Dhafra gave their hopes of continued top-flight football a massive boost on Saturday night with a battling 2-1 win at Al Wasl. Togolese striker Mohammed Abdulqader scored early in each half to give Dhafra three points on the road, taking their Pro League tally to 20 points. The result moves Dhafra to within a win of ensuring their stay in the Pro League for next season and coach Baroud hopes they will seal their spot at home on Sunday. "We have a very crucial match against Shaab in the next round," said the only Emirati coach in the Pro League. "I think the picture for us will be a lot clearer after that game. If we can get three points in that game, I think we will be safe.

"We can take a lot of confidence from this win. We were playing against a very good side, which is fighting for a top-four finish. "We did a very good job in defence and kept the likes of Iman Mobali, Maher Jassem and Oliveira under pressure right through, not giving them enough space or time to play at their natural rhythm." Abdulqader gave Dhafra the lead in the third minute and then doubled the score from the penalty spot in the 55th minute, when he was brought down by Ali Masri, who was sent off for the tackle. Juma Abdulla's 70th minute header raised 10-man Wasl's hopes of a point from the game, but Dhafra held on for a deserved win.

"When you concede a goal in the third minute, it takes a bit of time to recover from the shock," said the Wasl coach Jaroslav Horak. "We were not concentrating as well as we should. If you concede a goal in the third minute, it means you are not focused. "We also have problems in attack; we are not good enough inside the box and we have problems scoring." arizvi@thenational.ae