x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Braga has eyes on the title

Abel Braga and his table-topping Al Jazira side have their sights firmly fixed on the title after their 4-0 rout of city rivals Al Wahda.

Abel Braga has his eyes firmly set on winning the Pro league.
Abel Braga has his eyes firmly set on winning the Pro league.

ABU DHABI // Abel Braga and his table-topping Al Jazira side have their sights firmly fixed on the title after their 4-0 rout of city rivals Al Wahda at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. "For us, this is the best possible result we could have hoped for at the start of the second half of the league," he said. "The league is our main hope now after we were beaten in the President's Cup [by Wahda]. This wasn't a revenge game but the result was important to keep our title hopes on track."

Jazira scored two goals in each half, but Braga believes the final score flattered his side. "We were lucky," he said. "The game changed in a dramatic two minutes. This is football. The coach at the other end took a risk to open out, and we took advantage and scored two more from the chances that came our way. I think the 4-0 score didn't do justice to the game because it was a well contested match."

Fernando Baiano, the leading scorer in the Pro League with 12, broke the deadlock, with his fellow Brazilian Rafael Sobis scoring the next two. The skipper Ibrahim Dially completed the rout. The Wahda coach Josef Hickersberger said: "I couldn't believe we were suddenly two goals down. We were the better team until then. We still had a chance to get back. We took a risk and we got punished more. "If you give space to players of the calibre of Sobis and Baiano, it is a risk.

"But I had to take that chance because for me losing 2-0 and 4-0 didn't matter. I wanted my team to come back, and we had a couple of good shots that were well saved by the goalkeeper, Ali Kashief. And we also missed a few chances earlier in the game. It may sound ridiculous, but we played better than we did when we beat Jazira in the President's Cup." The win puts Jazira two points clear of Al Ahli and Al Ain.

apassela@thenational.ae