When is the President's Cup final?: All you need to know ahead of Shabab Al Ahli v Al Dhafra
One of the marquee matches in UAE football takes place on Monday, when Shabab Al Ahli take on Al Dhafra in the President’s Cup final. Here are the details
President’s Cup final, the showpiece event in the domestic football season.
When and where
Monday April 29, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain.
Shabab Al Ahli. The Dubai side are seeking a second trophy of the season having last month secured the Arabian Gulf Cup – the first title the club has lifted following its 2017 merger. As Al Ahli, they won the President’s Cup eight times – a joint record.
Al Dhafra. The surprise finalists have never before clinched one of the major trophies in UAE football. In fact, they have never even contested a final. Last season, the Western Region side just about stayed in the Arabian Gulf League, but this year sit comfortably in mid-table.
How they got there
Shabab Al Ahli: 3-0 Ittihad Kalba, 1-1 Al Nasr (progress on pens), 5-1 Al Wasl
Al Dhafra: 2-1 Dibba Al Hisn, 2-0 Dibba Al Fujairah, 2-1 Sharjah
Rodolfo Arruabarrena (Argentina): “I always ask the players not to be complacent and to respect all opponents. The game is going to be tough, Al Dhafra are a good team with great ambition. They have excellent players who have achieved a good standard and have recorded good results this season. They will not be easy. The stakes are equal - 50-50 - and statistics and records do not matter. The game is 90 minutes and whoever gives the greater effort will be worthy of the title and deserve the cup.”
Vuk Rasovic (Serbia): “I’m pretty sure we’re ready to show to everybody that we’re not in the final by accident. For sure we will give our best tomorrow and in a final, everything is possible. I’m so proud of my players because they have already made history and, of course, we will give our best to not stop. We will give everything we can to take the trophy. I know everything about Al Ahli, but tomorrow is important in how we will play. I’m just thinking of my team to be ready.”
Players to watch
Henrique Luvannor. The Brazil-Moldovan has been a regular standout in the Emirates for the past five years. Quick, direct and often cutting in from the left, the forward has 16 goals this season, including one in the Arabian Gulf Cup final.
Romulo. On loan from Brazil’s Avai, the Rio-born striker is key to Al Dhafra’s chances. Squat, quick-footed and with an eye for goal, he has found the net nine times in 18 league matches. Notched the opener in the semi-final victory against Sharjah.
Updated: April 28, 2019 03:55 PM