x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Spot-kick sums up Wasl woes

Eissa Ali sank to his knees, clutching his face after missing a penalty in Friday's Pro League game against Al Ahli.

Ah Ahli's Ismael El-Hamadi battles for a loose ball as Ali Mahmoud of Al Wasl, right, watches during Friday's game.
Ah Ahli's Ismael El-Hamadi battles for a loose ball as Ali Mahmoud of Al Wasl, right, watches during Friday's game.

DUBAI // Eissa Ali sank to his knees, clutching his face after missing a penalty in Friday's Pro League game against Al Ahli. Shock was written all over his face and the reaction mirrored the woes of Al Wasl this season. Wasl were two down at that moment after goals from Jader Volnei Spindler (Bare) and Milad Meydavoudi, and Eissa had the opportunity to bring the hosts back into the game. But he blazed over the bar to sum a poor night as they went on to lose 2-0 to the league leaders

"After we missed a penalty, our hopes disappeared," said coach Jurcic Srecko. "The players just could not find the strength after that to continue until the end. Their spirits were drained." Wasl are clearly a squad low in morale and lacking a bit in quality, though they did create a fair amount of chances. "I would not like to speak about the quality of the players," said Srecko, who took over the reins of at Wasl after Miroslav Beranek was sacked just two games into the new season.

"I have been here for a month and I have to work with the players I have. I cannot change anything on this matter. We need to do our best with the players we have. But yes, one part of our problems is morale and the team-spirit." Ahli will look to maintain top spot on Tuesday when they play Al Kjaleej, and coach Ivan Hasek is not resting on his laurels. "To get these three points is very important for us at this moment," he said.

"We are playing our next game in three days and we need to recover quickly. "Some players may be a little tired and others might have a few niggles, but I hope they will recover in time. "In Europe, we play three days after a Champions League game and I think our players have no problems as well. "We have worked very well in the pre-season and I don't think it will be a problem for us physically.

"If we don't win the next game, this win will mean little." @Email:arizvi@thenational.ae