x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Dubai coach defiant despite loss to Baniyas

Andre Senghor's brace cements ninth place and removed any possibility of relegation for the Abu Dhabi club.

Baniyas, in white, moved to ninth place and cement their place away from relegation zone.
Baniyas, in white, moved to ninth place and cement their place away from relegation zone.

SHAMKAH // Ayman Al Ramadi, the Dubai coach, is confident his team can survive relegation despite the 2-0 defeat at Baniyas.

Dubai are locked in a tense battle with Emirates and Sharjah with two rounds left in the league, and Al Ramadi said they had a "difficult but not impossible task" to remain in the top flight.

"I feel we have a good chance to survive," the Egyptian, who took charge of the club midway in the season, said.

"We played a good game despite losing to Baniyas. I am satisfied with our performance.

"We created a few chances but couldn't finish them. I hope with a little more improvement we can achieve the desired results in the two remaining games."

Andre Senghor scored twice to take Baniyas to victory. The result cemented ninth place and removed any possibility of relegation for the Abu Dhabi club.

Even though they are level with Emirates on 14 points, Dubai are in the drop zone because of an inferior head-to-head record against the club from Ras Al Khaimah. Both clubs are four points ahead of Sharjah.

Gabriel Calderon, the Baniyas coach, was happy with the resolve shown by his players, who are also competing in the Asian Champions League.

"We have played eight matches in three different competitions in one month and the players are very tired," the Argentine said. "When I first joined my goal was to raise the level of our play and I think we have achieved it. I can now say we are playing better than we started and have achieved good results.

"We didn't have a good first half against Dubai but we played well after the break to win three points."

Baniyas visit Al Ahli in the penultimate game in the league on Friday before a home meeting with Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan in the Champions League to decide who qualifies for the knockout stage behind Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia from Group B.

Francisco Yeste set up Senghor for the opening strike and Saleh Al Minhali, a late substitute, sent in a dipping cross for the Senegalese forward to head in his 13th league goal of the season.

Baniyas ended with 10 players after Fawaz Awana was sent off for a second bookable offence three minutes from time.

 

apassela@thenational.ae