x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Berzovic unbowed by defeat

The Al Shaab manager Luka Berzovic vowed to fight on after his side's demoralising 5-0 mauling.

ABU DHABI // The Al Shaab manager Luka Berzovic vowed to fight on after his side's demoralising 5-0 mauling at the hands of Al Jazira on Friday night. Rafael Sobis scored a spectacular hat-trick for the Abu Dhabi club, paying back some of his Dh65million transfer fee, to condemn Shaab to another defeat, their fourth already this season. The Sharjah-based club have only managed one point, a 1-1 draw with Al Wasl in their first Etisalat Cup match. They are point-less in the Pro League.

The beleaguered Belgian believes his team can fight back from their latest setback. "It's always difficult after a 5-0," he said. "But I won't quit my responsibilities. It was a bizarre match. "We were without three key players but we still played a good first half and defended well. "But Jazira scored just before half-time and then in the first minute of the second half. "After that we had a goal disallowed for Godwin Antram. I can't comment on that. We would have been back in the game.

"We must accept this situation and prepare for our next league match, which will be difficult. "I'll keep working the same way as I have been. We can use this defeat to spur us on, but we must be realistic, play simple football and be more aggressive." Sobis's fellow Brazilian striker Fernando Baiano scored the other two for Jazira, who had to wait until two minutes before half-time to get a breakthrough before running riot in the second-half.

The coach Abel Braga preferred to focus on his team rather than individuals. "They surprised with an unusual formation, but we dealt with it in the second-half," Braga said yesterday. "We missed a lot of chances but that's the way it is. We are trying to play like champions." @Email:twoods@thenational.ae