x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Lack of goals worries Tite

Since taking over, the Brazilian manager is yet to see his side score in the Pro League and it is now 210 minutes since Wahda have found the net.

Al Wahda’s Yaqoub al Hosani, right, vies for the ball with Shehab Ahmed of Al Ain last night. Shadi Malkawi / Al Ittihad
Al Wahda’s Yaqoub al Hosani, right, vies for the ball with Shehab Ahmed of Al Ain last night. Shadi Malkawi / Al Ittihad

ABU DHABI // Tite admitted he is concerned by Al Wahda's failure to find the back of the net after they fired a blank for the second successive match yesterday. Since replacing Laszlo Boloni, the Brazilian manager is yet to see his side score in the Pro League and it is now 210 minutes since Wahda have found the net in a league game, not allowing for stoppage time. The defending champions' three goals this season were all scored against Kalba, the promoted club.

"It is something we are going to have to work on," Tite said. "It is starting to be a big worry. We had some opportunities to score. I had a feeling we would win this game but we didn't take out chances. "Al Ain raised their game and took control for a while but then we took control again." Abdulhammed al Mishtiki, the Al Ain manager, was "satisfied" with a point and declared he was "very happy" with the performances of the club's youngsters who are being afforded their chance due to the raft of injuries to the club's foreign and senior players.

Such is the casualty list that Al Ain were forced to field their third-choice goalkeeper last night. The goalless draw took Al Ain's points haul to eight, one behind Al Wasl, the league leaders, and leaves Wahda on five after the fourth round. Despite the lack of goals, the crowd of nearly 12,000 were treated to an entertaining 90 minutes and it was Al Ain who came closest to breaking the deadlock.

Adel al Hosani, the Wahda goalkeeper, was forced into a fingertip save to deny Omar Abdulrahman in the 35th minute and saved his side again just past the hour when he blocked a powerful volley from Shehab Ahmed. And the Wahda keeper was called into action again in the 72nd minute when he made a full, diving stretch to his left to barely deflect Jose Sand's shot, tipping it just wide of the post. 

In an attempt to spark his side into life, Tite made a double substitution by bringing on Saeed al Kathiri and Fahed Masoud for Mohammed al Shehhi and Fernando Baiano towards the last quarter of the match. The replacements injected some energy but Wahda never looked like scoring.

apassela@thenational.ae