x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Braga left unhappy at break

The Al Jazira manager Abel Braga has criticised the seven-week break to the Pro League, which he fears will hurt his side's title charge.

DUBAI // The Al Jazira manager Abel Braga has criticised the seven-week break to the Pro League, which he fears will hurt his side's title charge. Jazira cruised to their sixth consecutive win on Thursday night, a 3-1 triumph at Al Shabab, to stay top of the table, with the Brazilian duo Fernando Baiano and Rafael Sobis both in terrific form. Braga would have preferred the dynamic duo to continue their exploits for another week at least, but the 11th round of the season, scheduled for Dec 23-24, was postponed to accommodate the needs of the national team as they prepare to defend their Gulf Cup crown in Oman next month.

"I am not happy about the 11th week being postponed," said the Jazira coach. "This break might be good for some teams, but not for others. It is certainly not good for us because we are at the top of the league, playing well and have a good momentum going." Meanwhile, the Al Nasr manager Luka Bonacic was left upset after a stoppage time penalty held his side to a 1-1 draw with Al Wahda on Thursday night.

Nasr had led through a Mohammed Omar goal until Pinga struck from the spot. "In nine games we have had 10 penalties against us," raged Bonacic. "In my opinion, my team is like a Trabant car and we were playing against a Ferrari. That is normal for us, but we are always affected by the referee." In last night's action Al Dhafra drew 1-1 with Al Ahli. Dhafra skipper Mohammed Salem opened the scoring. But Ahli levelled in the 23rd minute as Cezar scored a penalty.

Srecko Juraci became the fourth manager to be fired this season after he was sacked by Al Wasl last night. He was dismissed following following Thursday's 2-0 loss to Al Ain. arizvi@thenational.ae pradley@thenational.ae