x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Mohammed Bargash lifts Baniyas past Al Wahda in UAE League Cup

Baniyas jump to the top spot of Group A after their 1-0 win over Al Wahda in the UAE League Cup while Ajman and Sharjah are also victorious, reports Amith Passela

Baniyas' Mohamed Saleh Bargash scores against Al Wahda during their UAE League Cup match at Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night. It was the lone goal in the contest. Christopher Pike / The National
Baniyas' Mohamed Saleh Bargash scores against Al Wahda during their UAE League Cup match at Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night. It was the lone goal in the contest. Christopher Pike / The National

Abu Dhabi // Baniyas made it two-for-two after a 1-0 result over Al Wahda to claim a share of the top spot on the Group A leaderboard in the League Cup.

Mohammed Bargash scored the only goal in a scrappy game on Thursday night at the Al Nahyan Stadium in the capital.

Bargash exchanged passes with Luis Farina down the right flank, then ran inside the box before hammering home a low shot, taking the lead heading into half-time. It was not pretty, but it was enough.

“The game didn’t rise to a good level, but we can return with the satisfaction of winning the three points,” said Jorge Da Silva, the Baniyas coach.

“Still, we were the better team on the night because we created more scoring opportunities.

“Had we scored one more from those chances, our victory would have been more impressive.”

Sharjah and Baniyas each have six points, but the latter trail on goal difference.

“In the cup games, we try to provide some of the fringe players the opportunities, and sometimes they come out a bit short from the expectations,” Da Silva said.

“I am happy with the defence. They were solid and didn’t leak out any goals against a team like Wahda.

“We will try to play the best available team because we are trying to create a team for different competitions. That’s why we want to play all the foreigners, because they need more games.”

Sebastian Tagliabue had a golden opportunity to put Wahda in front. The Argentine forward was set up beautifully inside the box by compatriot Damian Diaz, but a weak effort from eight yards was smothered by Mohsin Al Hashmi, the Baniyas goalkeeper.

“We had many chances to score in the first half, but couldn’t score” said Karel Jarolim, the Wahda coach.

Jarolim used up all three Wahda substitutions in the last quarter, of the match – including Tagliabue – yet nothing improved from his side.

Fahad Danhani, the Wahda keeper, made two excellent saves at the other end to keep his team in the game.

He blocked a close-range effort from Luis Farina and recovered to block a looping shot from Carlos Munoz from the ensuing run of play. “We were trying out some new players and we can take the experiment as the positives from this game,” said Hussain Fadel, the Kuwaiti international centre-back.

“All is not lost for us, anyway. We have three points from three games, but there are plenty of matches left in the cup competition.

“So we are still hopeful of going beyond the group stage.”

Al Dhafra 2 Ajman 3

Al Dhafra: Zahran 30’, 45’

Ajman: Hassan 12’, (pen) 82’, Abdulla 90+3’

Ajman kept up their unbeaten record in the League Cup when they defeated Al Dhafra on the road. Waleed Ahmed Hassan opened the scoring before a double from Hassan Zahran gave Dhafra the half-time lead. Ajman struck back after the break, with Hassan again finding the net. The match looked to be heading for a draw but Haddaf Abdulla struck in injury time to seal the win.

Sharjah 2 Dubai 0

Sharjah: Gabriel 19’, Ze Carlos 81’

Sharjah ensured that they kept up with the pace at the top of the Group A table as they registered their second win in two League Cup games against Dubai on Thursday night. Fellype Gabriel got things up and running for the home side when he struck after 19 minutes and Ze Carlos secured all three points after the half-time break to make it 2-0 on the night and kept Sharjah ahead of Baniyas in the table. Sharjah goalkeeper Mohamed Yousif managed a clean sheet.

apassela@thenational.ae