x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Treble from Tony eases the pressure on Baniyas

Emirates suffer 4-1 defeat, thanks to Ivorian's hat-trick.

Baniyas // A new coach signalled a new dawn for Baniyas last night as they snapped a streak of seven games without a win by beating Emirates 4-1.

The revival was led by Tony, the Ivorian forward, who scored a hat-trick to give Salem Al Orafi, the caretaker coach, the perfect start in his first match in charge.

Tony, who moved from Qatari side Al Arabi Qatar three weeks ago, was making his first start for his new club and repaid Al Orafi's faith in naming him in the starting line-up by opening the scoring in the fourth minute.

He doubled his total seven minutes after the break and completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot two minutes later.

Andre Senghor made it four for the home side in the 68th minute before Mohammed Ali Omar pulled one back for the visitors 16 minutes from time.

"It was probably Tony's day," Al Orafi said. "I never expected him to score three goals.

"He is a player with a lot of experience having played in the UAE league for a long time and I thought of making use of him from the onset. And it paid off tonight.

"However, it was the win that was more important after what had occurred in the last four days. It was a good start and I hope we can take a lot of positives from this win."

The Ivorian is in his sixth season in the domestic league, having started with Al Wahda and then moving to Al Jazira, where he spent four years before he was shipped out to Al Arabi in the middle of last season.

Al Orafi only took charge of the team at the weekend after Jorvan Vieira was dismissed by the club following the seven-match winless run in all competitions.

The former Baniyas player was appointed immediately after the Brazilian, who had been in charge since the end of last season, was fired following their 3-1 defeat by Al Jazira, the Pro League champions, on Sunday.

Vieira had only used Tony in the final quarter of his last two games in charge.

The striker made an early impression after being picked to start and he scored his first goal when he picked up a low pass from Amer Abdulrahman, sidestepped a defender and shot from close range to beat Ahmed Al Shaji, the Emirate goalkeeper.

His second came when he tapped home a rebound after Senghor's effort cannoned off a charging Emirates player and completed his hat-trick with a spot kick after his Senegalese strike partner was brought down in a clumsy tackle by Khaled Shamareikh, the Emirates defender, who was sent off.

And having had a hand in both the second-half goals, Senghor added a fourth to complete the rout.

Omar's goal was little more than a consolation for Emirates, who suffered a third Pro League defeat of the season after getting their campaign off to a winning start.

While the coaching role was thrust on Al Orafi, he says he is happy to continue in the position.

"I have been in this club since 1982 as a player and now as a technical staff," he said.

"I will stay as long as the management of the club wants me. What is important here is for the team to excel in all competitions and I am happy to carry on with my work."

 

apassela@thenational.ae