x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Hasek tells players to learn from stumble

Ivan Hasek, the Al Ahli coach, has urged his players to take lessons in "solidarity" from Al Ain if they want to return to winning ways.

DUBAI // Ivan Hasek, the Al Ahli coach, has urged his players to take lessons in "solidarity" from Al Ain if they want to return to winning ways. Ain were trailing 1-0 at Ahli and were reduced to 10 men in the 39th minute when Darwish Ahmed was sent off, but the visitors closed ranks, scored an equaliser after the break and outplayed Ahli in the second-half to stretch their unbeaten start to the season to five games.

"We have dropped two points at home," said Hasek. "We played against 10 men in the second half and still we couldn't create many chances. So nobody is happy. "Congratulations to Al Ain, they played a great game. It is not always easy playing against 10 men. After losing a player, teams usually get stronger mentally. They get more dogged and gain in solidarity. "Al Ain did the same. They were very good in defence and they did not give us too many chances. They closed the game."

After being crushed 4-1 at Al Wahda in their last Pro League game and losing their cup opener 2-0 at Al Nasr last week, Ahli made a promising start at home, taking the lead in the 9th minute before getting pegged back. "We are the first team to score against Al Ain this season," said Hasek. "They had played four games before this match and nobody had managed to score against them. They have the best defence in the league.

"We managed to score the first goal against them, but unfortunately we could not hold on to the lead. We should have won the game. So I am not very happy with the result or the way we played." He added. "We need to show more solidarity like Al Ain and help each other." arizvi@thenational.ae