x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Schaefer will focus on league

The holders Al Ain suffered a shock exit from the President's Cup at the hands of Ajman, ending any hopes of repeating last season's cup double.

AL AIN // Winfried Schaefer's holders suffered a shock exit from the President's Cup on Tuesday night, ending any hopes of repeating last season's cup double. Al Ain were beaten 4-3 on penalties by 10-man Ajman after the game was scoreless deadlock at the end of the extra-time at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai. The result was the biggest shock of the season after Schaefer's side had beaten Ajman - a team yet to win a Pro League point in six matches - 3-1 in the Etisalat Cup last week and 3-2 in the league a month ago.

Schaefer said his players were not good enough on the night. "It was anybody's game when it went to a penalty shoot-out. Of course we are all very upset on this result but we must put this disappointment behind us and concentrate in the league," the German said. "In this cup format, the smaller clubs always come hard against the bigger teams. Al Ahli were beaten by Baniyas last season and they went on to win the league. We can take this as a lesson and prepare for our next game with Al Wahda [on December 1]."

It was an Al Ain debut for the UAE Under 20 goalkeeper Yousif Abdelrahman, who made three excellent saves to deny Ajman from scoring during the regulation time. However, he could not save them in the shoot-out. He saved one penalty, but his side missed two against Ajman, who had Samir Ibrahim sent off with 20 minutes left. Emirates pulled off another upset on the night when they beat Al Wasl 2-1 2-1 in extra-time to earn a quarter-final showdown with Ajman.

Al Wahda thrashed Baniyas 4-0, the promoted club's biggest defeat of the season. The defender Basheer Saeed was on target twice along with Brazilians Fernando Baiano and Pinga. @Email:apassela@thenational.ae