x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Nasr push Wahda all the way

Al Jazira and Al Wahda, the top two sides in the Pro League, are heading for a showdown in the final of the President's Cup.

Al Jazira and Al Wahda, the top two sides in the Pro League, are heading for a showdown in the final of the President's Cup as well after confirming their spots in the last-four of the tournament over the weekend. Jazira, leading Wahda by four points in the league, knocked out Al Dhafra 3-0 last night, with Brazilian Ricardo Oliveira scoring the opener in the 13th minute and Ibrahim Diaky finding the net twice in the closing stages - first in the 89th minute and then in injury time.

Dhafra finished the game with 10 men after Juma Khater was shown a straight red for a tackle on Abdullah Qasim in the 90th minute. Wahda needed two extra-time goals to beat Al Nasr 5-3 on Friday night and book a semi-final date with Emirate. Josef Hickersberger, the Al Wahda coach, saluted the determination of his side after the hard-fought win secured by extra-time goals from Basheer Saeed and Pinga.

Fernando Baiano scored a hat-trick for the Abu Dhabi team, while Carlos Tenorio struck two - both from penalties - for Nasr before Mohammed Malallah dragged the game into extra-time with a 90th minute equaliser for the Dubai club. "We should have won in regulation time," said Hickersberger. "The second goal they scored was not a penalty. Even after watching a number of replays, I am still wondering how it was a penalty. Anyway, we won the game and we deserved it."

Frank Pagelsdorf, the Nasr coach, felt Wahda were helped by a couple of errors from his goalkeeper Ismael Rabea, but said: "We cannot blame just one person for defeat." Meanwhile, Yemen were confirmed as the hosts of next year's Gulf Cup yesterday. The tournament will be held from November 22 to December 4 in the cities of Eden and Abyan. @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae