x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Pressure is on Abdulhaleem

The Al Wahda coach Ahmed Abdulhaleem is beginning to feel the pressure after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Al Dhafra.

Ahmed Abdulhaleem is starting to feel the pressure.
Ahmed Abdulhaleem is starting to feel the pressure.

The Al Wahda coach Ahmed Abdulhaleem is beginning to feel the pressure after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Al Dhafra. His men nearly surrendered a 3-0 lead to Al Sharjah in the last league game and only managed to beat second division Hatta in extra-time of the President's Cup first round in the previous game. Abdulhaleem's players looked less than motivated and the Dhafra coach Mohammed Kwid hailed the result as a victory for them.

Dhafra took their tally to six points and moved to ninth in the 12-team standings. Wahda dropped one place to fourth. Al Ain and Al Jazira, remain close to the leaders Al Ahli, after authoritative victories over Ajman and Sharjah, 2-0 and 4-0 respectively. "The players were very focused tonight and did what they were told in a very professional manner," said the Ain coach Winfried Schaefer, who was managing the team by phone from the grandstand after the competition committee suspended him for two matches for his involvement in a brawl after the recent Al Nasr match."There are no easy games and hard games as such. Yes, Ajman is a lesser fancied side when it comes to that, and that's all the reason it was important to win three points from them."

Ajman ended with nine players after Mohammed Zahran was given his marching orders shortly before the break for his second bookable offence and Sabri Jameel was red carded five minutes from time. Jorge Valdivia scored twice for Ain, the first from the spot and the second from a cross off Fares Jumaa, both in the first half. Jazira coach Abel Braga was also satisfied. He said: "We were a bit flat in the last game but were right on top in tonight's match. This was one of the better games and we also had the luck on our side."

apassela@thenational.ae