x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mohamed Aboutrika on target as Baniyas regain second place in Pro League

The Egyptian playmaker helps his side to all three points in game against AL Shabab, writes Amith Passela.

Mohamed Aboutrika, seen here playing for Baniyas against Al Ain, scored the only goal against Al Shabab. Pawan Singh / The National
Mohamed Aboutrika, seen here playing for Baniyas against Al Ain, scored the only goal against Al Shabab. Pawan Singh / The National

BANIYAS // Jozef Chovanec says Baniyas are not feeling any pressure as they chase an Asian Champions League spot.

The Czech watched his side overcome Al Shabab and a sandstorm last night to regain second spot behind Al Ain in the Pro League table.

"We want to get as close as possible behind Al Ain," Chovanec said.

"There is no pressure whatsoever from the inside for us to win the league or to win an ACL ticket next year. But we will do our best because we never know what can happen in the next six games in the league.

"We are in a good position in the league and well placed in the Gulf Club championship [they have qualified for the quarter-finals] and our objective would be to continue with our work to produce good results."

Mohamed Aboutrika, the Egyptian playmaker, scored the only goal of the game when he tapped home a cross from teammate Yousuf Jaber that was poorly cleared by Esam Dhahi, the Shabab defender, in the added time of the first half.

Chovanec and his counterpart Marcos Paqueta said that the blustery weather conditions made it very hard to play good football.

"It was very hard to control possession," Paqueta said.

'We had to play under two different situations, the first half against the wind and the second period with the wind behind us.

"It was the same for Baniyas. We both had tall players and it was very difficult to go on the aerial attack. Yet we fell short of a good result from this game.

"We also have very little time between the ACL and the league games yet we have managed to achieve some good results under the circumstances"

Baniyas survived a late scare when Luiz Henrique's close range shot deflected wide off Sultan Al Ghaferi.

Shabab remain in seventh place on 30 points.

 

apassela@thenational.ae

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