x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ramadi boost gives Shaab a victory at last

The Al Shaab fans celebrated wildly as their new manager Ayman al Ramadi brought a first victory of the season in his maiden game - and with it fresh hope in the title race.

SHARJAH // The Al Shaab fans celebrated wildly as their new manager Ayman al Ramadi brought a first victory of the season in his maiden game - and with it fresh hope in the title race. The Egyptian, who is yet to be officially named as manager, was in the stands passing instructions to his technical staff as Shaab edged out Al Wahda 3-2 on Friday. It was a fantastic start for Ramadi who has to pay a fine for quitting his job with Dhafra, whom he led to promotion last season.

The win gave Shaab their first league points of the season and Ramadi said: "It was a fantastic victory no doubt and will give the players the confidence they were looking for. But we shouldn't get carried away. "It was a matter of putting the right players in the right places. We attacked from the middle, where Al Wahda were strong. So we managed to beat them in their own game. And the players showed a lot of character to fight until the end and achieve the result we wanted."

Shaab clinched victory thanks to a superb hat-trick from Ghana striker Goodwin Atram, who scored the first of his three goals 10 minutes from the break after Mohammed al Shehhi put the visitors ahead. Atram scored again seven minutes into the second half before completing his hat-trick on the stroke of full-time, after Wahda had equalised through a stunning free kick from Brazilian Pinga on the 70th minute.

Ramadi added: "Atram had a great game. He completed the job for us with his some great work but we had 11 men playing well all the time on the pitch. "The first goal to go into the break 1-1 was crucial and that really gave the players the confidence that they can compete and score goals." The Wahda coach Ahmed Abdulhaleem said they made too many mistakes and didn't mark the Shaab striker Atram, who scored at every given opportunity as the capital side's 12-match unbeaten run, which began last season, came to an end.

"We need to analyse what went wrong and apologies to our fans on the outcome of a poor result. The positive to take out of this game is this defeat is that it came very early in the season. We can take this result as a warning we just can't afford to drop our guard against any team." apassela@thenational.ae