x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Braga expects Sobis impact

Rafael Sobis is finding his feet in the Etisalat Pro League and the Al Jazira manager Abel Braga says there is more to come.

Rafael Sobis, right, in action for Al Jazira.
Rafael Sobis, right, in action for Al Jazira.

ABU DHABI // Rafael Sobis, Al Jazira's high-profile summer purchase from the Spanish side Real Betis, is finding his feet in the Etisalat Pro League - and his manager Abel Braga said there is more to come from the Brazilian forward. His debut, in last week's 1-1 draw with capital rivals Al Wahda, had been sluggish but he showed his quality as Jazira tortured newly-promoted Al Khaleej in a 6-1 victory at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium,

Sobis scored twice, as did his fellow new arrival Fernando Baiano, with Ibrahaim Diaky and Abdul Salam Jumaa also netting. "What we have seen in this game is only a little of his ability. I expect him to get better after every game," said Braga. "We just need to give him more time to adapt. He is still not 100 per cent, both physically and mentally. But I still have 100 per cent faith in his ability.

"To beat any team in the Pro League by a five-goal margin is a really good effort. I was impressed the way my players went about doing their job." The Super Cup winners Al Ahli lead the table thanks to a home 2-0 win over Ajman, the goals coming from Yousef Jaber and Bare, which followed up last week's success at Al Nasr. Wahda were 4-2 winners at Al Wasl in Dubai. They had to come from behind after Zikagory had put Wasl ahead, Ismail Matar levelled for Wahda and Pinga, Kareem Alawadi and Mahmoud Kamies saw them close out the win.

"This was a game we wanted to win, and win convincingly. This is the right position to be in as we have all the tougher games coming up first," said the coach Ahmed Abdulhameen. "We played our first game quite well but couldn't achieve the desired result. Again we conceded an early goal but we managed to cancel that lead early." The Al Ain coach Winfried Schaefer said his side had "dropped two points" after their goalless draw at Al Dhafra.

"But on the other hand it is only the second match," he said. Schaefer was without his Chile international forward Jorge Valdivia because of injury, and his team squandered chances. The German added: "We have a young side and they'll come back strongly from this game." Mohammed Kwid, the Dhafra manager, said: "To claim a point from Al Ain was as good as a win for us. Our goal is to remain in the Pro League."

Anderson hit a hat-trick as Al Sharjah beat Al Shabab 4-2. Nawaf Mubarak got Sharjah's other while Renato got Shabab's goals. Al Nasr won 2-1 at Al Shaab. Yousi abd al Aziz and Mehrzad Madanchi scored for the visitors, with Godine Atram replying. apassela@thenational.ae