x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Paulo Bonamigo back with a bang for Sharjah in the UAE League Cup

Brazilians Ze Carlos and Fellype Gabriel score on debut and instrumental in 3-0 win over Al Jazira, reports Amith Passela.

Al Jazira's Nelson Valdez, left, chases Sharjah's Mauricio Ramos during last night's match in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
Al Jazira's Nelson Valdez, left, chases Sharjah's Mauricio Ramos during last night's match in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // The Brazilians Ze Carlos and Fellype Gabriel scored on debut and were instrumental in a brilliantly executed 3-0 victory for Sharjah over Al Jazira.

The win was particularly sweet for Paulo Bonamigo in his first game in charge of the Northern Emirates club against his former team.

The Brazilian was fired by the Abu Dhabi club last March, despite them being third in the league and having reached the semi-finals of the President's Cup. But Bonamigo was not about to reveal whether there was a heightened sense of satisfaction from the result.

"I was not thinking about it," he said. "I am a professional and work with Sharjah, so I can only talk about my team. Yes, we have worked hard over the summer and tonight we showed what we are capable of. Obviously I am pleased with the result.

"We came here to win. It was our first game and it was important to start with a win and full credit to my players for an excellent game in very humid conditions.

"We had all four foreigners making their debuts and they all did a great job for us. It was an excellent team effort to win very convincingly. We were definitely the better team on the night."

Ze Carlos scored twice and Gabriel was on target either side of his compatriot's strikes as Al Jazira struggled to stay in the contest and had to finish out the final 20 minutes reduced to 10 men on Sunday night at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

Abdulla Qasem was given a straight red card by the referee Adel Al Naqbi for a nasty tackle on Gabriel, who had to leave the pitch for treatment.

Ahmed Khamis twice worked his way down the left flank, to set up goals for Ze Carlos and Gabriel in the 11th and 15th minutes.

Ze Carlos put the finishing touch to a short pass and Gabriel headed a cross from close range for the two goals in four minutes to put the visitor's in the driving seat.

It could have been more had Ze Carlos's effort from close range not deflected off Salem Masoud, the Jazira defender, on the half-hour. Then Al Senani did well to charge down and clear the ball before Gabriel could reach it.

Khamis was again the provider for Ze Carlos in the second half, who collected a pass from the left flank before unleashing a powerful shot to seal the game.

Jazira never came close to striking a blow at the visitor's goal in the first half and made little impact after the break, despite several forays into Sharjah territory.

The home side were without five players, including the Moroccan international Abdelaziz Barrada, on national duty but Luis Milla's men had no excuse as they were outplayed on another energy sapping night.

"We conceded two early goals and it became very difficult for us to get back in the game," Milla said.

"We tried out a few players and it didn't work as we would have wanted. The team has trained well in the summer but tonight we just couldn't lift our game.

"Sharjah were above us physically and mentally in this game. I told my players to make a fresh start in the second half and insisted we need to push hard until the end. But that didn't work in this game and we certainly will try to raise the level in the next game."

apassela@thenational.ae

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