x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Braga ends Ain's winning streak

The Al Jazira coach Abel Braga was delighted with the way his team ended Al Ain's unbeaten run.

Al Jazira's Fernando Baiano, who scored the game's decisive second goal, is knocked down by Al Ain's Esmaiel Ahmed.
Al Jazira's Fernando Baiano, who scored the game's decisive second goal, is knocked down by Al Ain's Esmaiel Ahmed.

AL AIN // The Al Jazira coach Abel Braga was delighted with the way his team ended Al Ain's unbeaten run but warned it was far too early to celebrate as they were not even half way through the Pro League season. "It was a strong match and a good win for us. And I am really happy with the way we played, but that is not the be all and end all," said the Brazilian after the 2-0 win in Saturday's showdown at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium.

"This game could have gone either way. Both teams had early chances and the difference was we scored from the opportunities that came our way. I think we did well in all departments of the game." Saleh Obaid scored the opening goal when he neatly headed Subait Khater's dipping free-kick from the right flank for a 1-0 lead at the break and Brazilian Fernando Baiano latched on to a cross from the captain Obaid 12 minutes into the second half to settle the game.

Baiano had a chance to double the score four minutes before half time but having collected a pass from Abdulla Qasim in front of the posts, he fired a weak shot which the Ain goalkeeper Motaz Abdulla managed to clear with his right foot. Braga said: "We came with a clear plan to win this game. And from the onset we wanted to score. That was our strategy and it paid off." Braga missed the suspended Brazilian Rafael Sobis but saw Khater celebrate his return by creating the opening goal.

Khater was fined Dhs50,000, suspended for a year from the national team and banned for three club matches for breaking a curfew before the UAE's World Cup qualifying match with Iran last month. "I am happy for Subait," said the coach. "He has had a very difficult time and he put all that to one side as a real professional to give everything for his team. "And I don't think Sobis sitting out from this game was an issue. We have a terrific squad and they are all expected to give their best on the pitch."

The Ain coach Winfried Schaefer wasn't downcast. "This is our first defeat and these things are bound to happen sooner or later. It was a big game for both teams and Jazira were the better team on the night. "We made some mistakes in the middle by not creating enough space for the forwards, and a couple of defensive errors from which Jazira scored. "We'll have to forget this game and think of the next one with Al Ahli this weekend."

@Email:apassela@thenational.ae