x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Stiff ask to repeat 1992 feat as Baniyas take on Al Ain

Winners of the 1992 President's Cup have done in recent times but will face an uphill task of beating one of Pro League's best teams on Tuesday.

Baniyas would be fancying their chances in the absence of Asamoah Gyan for Al Ain.
Baniyas would be fancying their chances in the absence of Asamoah Gyan for Al Ain.

It was Baniyas who scored one of the greatest upsets in President's Cup competition. They lifted the Cup in 1992, back when they were a lower-division side, a feat only Emirates have duplicated since.

The Shahama-based club will be facing a tough task again on Tuesday night when they face Al Ain, the undefeated leaders of the Pro League, in an 8.15pm match at Al Wahda's Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Baniyas were second in the league a year ago, but this season has been troubled from the start.

The death of Theyab Awana in an car accident was a shock, and the failure of David Trezeguet, the expensive French forward, to make an impact was a dull ache until he left.

Baniyas have looked more formidable of late, with Amer Abdulrahman organising the attack and Andre Senghor and the Oman international, Fazwi Basheer, posing scoring threats. Al Ain again will be without Asamoah Gyan, the league's leading scorer. He has joined the Ghana national team for the African Cup of Nations.

Al Ain have shown a depth of quality at the attacking end, however, through Ignacio Scocco, Mirel Radoi and Mohammed Abdulrahman, and a stingy defence anchored by Fares Jumaa and the goalkeeper Walid Salem.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae


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