x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Oliveira frustrates Jazira fans

Al Jazira fans are getting impatient with Ricardo Oliveira, the most expensive signing in Pro League history.

ABU DHABI // Al Jazira fans are getting impatient with Ricardo Oliveira, the most expensive signing in Pro League history. The Brazilian, who cost the capital side ?15million (Dh82m), again failed to make any significant contribution in the 2-2 home draw with Al Ain in Saturday's top-of-the-table clash at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. The fans, not renowned for their patience, are particularly irked because their former striker Fernando Baiano, who was top scorer in the league last season, continues to score for his new club Al Wahda - their city rivals. Baiano is joint top scorer with Al Ain's Argentine forward Jose Sand with seven goals.

The Jazira coach Abel Braga, who was caught on television having a heated debate with Oliveira after the player was substituted in last week's derby match with Al Wahda, came to his defence. "It is true Ricardo cost a lot of money but he needs time. He is progressing," he said. "Ricardo didn't have a good first half but he created quite a few scoring chances for Tony. I have complete faith in him to deliver as the league progresses."

Al Ain drew first blood through the defender Ismail Ahmed's ninth-minute header. Sand struck the equaliser by heading a cross deep from the right flank off Ali al Wehaibi on the hour after Jazira's Ivorian forward Tony scored twice within four minutes early in the second-half. "Al Ain used the high balls to good effect as they had taller players. They were lucky to get back a second goal after we went 2-1 up in the game," said Braga.

Winfried Schaefer, the Al Ain coach, was satisfied with a point, taking his team's tally to 10 and they remain on top by goal difference. "This is a good result. My players gave everything in this game, and to come back from 2-1 against Jazira is never easy," he said. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae