x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Presence of Sergio Aguero brings 'luck' to Diego Maradona's Al Wasl

Win over fellow Pro League side Al Wahda puts Al Wasl through to GCC Clubs' Championship semi-finals as Manchester City striker watches from stands.

Diego Maradona hugs Sergio Aguero, the Manchester City striker, after Al Wasl beat Al Wahda in Dubai last night. Ali Haider / EPA
Diego Maradona hugs Sergio Aguero, the Manchester City striker, after Al Wasl beat Al Wahda in Dubai last night. Ali Haider / EPA

DUBAI // Diego Maradona celebrated with Sergio Aguero, the Manchester City striker, as Al Wasl progressed to the semi-finals of the GCC Clubs' Championship last night.

Al Wasl defeated fellow Pro League side Al Wahda 5-3 on penalties in a thrilling game that also marked the comeback of banned goalkeeper Majed Naser.

Aguero, who is Maradona's son-in-law, was seen watching the game from the stands with son Benjamin. He later tweeted: "Al Wasl moved onto the semifinals! We brought some luck to Diego's team at Dubai, it seems! Nice going!"

The Argentine striker's visit to Zabeel Stadium, Wasl's home, comes just three days after he struck a last-gasp winner against QPR as Manchester City clinched their first Premier League title in 44 years.

After 90 goalless but entertaining minutes last night, Juan Manuel Olivera put Wasl ahead in the 112nd minute, but Fernando Baiano equalised only a minute later, pushing the tie into the penalty shoot-out where Olivera, Donda, Yaser Salem, Essa Ali and Khalatbari scored for the winners, while Baiano, Saeed Al Kathiri and Omar Ali were on target for Wahda.

It was also a memorable return for Naser who had not played for the first team since March 11, when he slapped Quique Sanchez Flores on the back of the head following Wasl's 1-0 defeat in the Etisalat Cup semi-finals.

He was handed a lengthy suspension by the FA's Disciplinary Committee and then announced his retirement from the game. The Wasl management, however, had refused to accept his resignation and insisted he honour his contract, which runs until the end of the 2014 season.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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