x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Fernando Baiano calls for focus and determination

The Brazilian striker blames slow start for loss and victory over Pachuca would offer Abu Dhabi side some redemption after heavy defeat.

Fernando Baiano scored against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma on Saturday, but was on the losing side. Ali Haider / EPA
Fernando Baiano scored against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma on Saturday, but was on the losing side. Ali Haider / EPA

ABU DHABI // Fernando Baiano wants Al Wahda to put the disappointment of heavy defeat behind them and turn their attention to the next opportunity afforded them in the Club World Cup.

Wahda play Pachuca, the North American champions, in the fifth-place match at 6pm on Wednesday, a game that offers the UAE team a chance for redemption after a 4-1 loss to Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma on Saturday.

"We shouldn't get disheartened with one bad result," Baiano said. "These things happen in football, and sometimes with the best teams around the world. We still have a game and should prepare to win the next match.

"We must keep our heads high because we were beaten by the Asian champions. If we can win against Pachuca, it will be a big achievement. And that's what should be our next goal."

Baiano, the Brazilian striker, is in fine form. He scored in the 3-0 victory over Hekari United and also struck against Seongnam, a header from distance that levelled the score in the 27th minute.

"It's always nice to score goals in this competition because it is seen all over the world," he said. "However, it would have more value had it been for the winning side."

Seongnam went ahead again in the 30th minute from a header from Sasa Ognenovski. Looking back on the match, Baiano said the Korean club's two early goals, rather than the pair in the final 20 minutes, were Wahda's undoing.

"We were under pressure from the start," he said. "We managed to get on level terms with my goal but they scored again very quickly and from there onwards it became difficult for us."

The Pro League champions will want to tighten up at the back ahead of the Pachuca match. The Mexican side could not produce a goal in a 1-0 loss to TP Mazembe, but they generated plenty of chances through their Argentine midfielder Alejandro Manso.

Josef Hickersberger, the Wahda coach, expressed concern about his players being ready to play so soon after their victory over Hekari. "Most of my players hadn't recovered from our previous match but they'll have to do so in time for our next game, because we owe it to our fans to finish fifth," he said.

While they can repair their reputation against Pachuca, what Wahda cannot retrieve is a chance to meet Inter Milan, the European champions. That opportunity goes to Seongnam.

"This Seongnam team is strong and I feel we can do something," Sasa Ognenovski, the Seongnam captain, said.

apassela@thenational.ae

Schedule

Results First round: Al Wahda 3 Hekari United 0; Quarter-finals: TP Mazembe 1 Pachuca 0; Al Wahda 1 Seongnam 4

Tomorrow Semi-final: TP Mazembe v Internacional, 8pm, Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium

Wednesday Fifth-place play-off: Pachuca v Al Wahda, 6pm, Zayed Sports City Stadium;
Semi-final: Seongnam v Inter Milan, 9pm, Zayed Sports City Stadium

Saturday Third-place play-off, 6pm, Zayed Sports City Stadium. Final, 9pm, Zayed Sports City Stadium