x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Subait Khater wants to lead Al Jazira's double quest

The midfielder has won UAE domestic football's biggest prizes several times over. What is missing on his CV is a league and cup double.

Subait Khater, right, and Al Jazira have laid low the rest of the league. After beating Al Wahda 4-0 Monday night to win the President's Cup, first-place Jazira need the Pro League title to take the double.
Subait Khater, right, and Al Jazira have laid low the rest of the league. After beating Al Wahda 4-0 Monday night to win the President's Cup, first-place Jazira need the Pro League title to take the double.

ABU DHABI // Subait Khater has won domestic football's biggest prizes several times over. What is missing on his CV is a league and cup double.

The midfielder spent more than 10 years at Al Ain, before moving to Al Jazira in 2008, accumulating four President's Cups and five leagues titles - including three in a row.

He also won the 2003 Asian Champions League with the Garden City club and the 2007 Gulf Cup with the national team.

After helping Jazira beat city rivals Al Wahda 4-0 on Monday night to win the President's Cup, Khater, 31, has the double within his grasp.

"If we can win the next match with Baniyas [on Friday] and one more game, then the league is ours," said Khater, who retired from international duty after the Asian Cup in Qatar in January to fully concentrate on his club duties.

"Jazira's first ever President's Cup holds a special place for me because now I am part of the club's history.

"I have also never experienced winning the cup and league double, and I think I am about to cherish that feeling."

Jazira, who are on 39 points, are 10 points clear at the top of the Pro League, with seven games left.

They can extend that lead to 13 points if they beat Baniyas, their nearest challengers. A further five points behind are Al Shabab and Al Wasl on 24 points apiece.

Jazira would become only the fourth club to win the double since the President's Cup was introduced in the 1974/75 season. Al Ahli won the double in 1975, Al Nasr completed the feat in 1986 and more recently Al Wasl doubled up in 2007. Jazira are unbeaten in the league for 23 matches over 14 months but Khater is adamant the league race is not over just yet.

"It is true we have an excellent record in the league but it can easily get ruined if we lose concentration of the upcoming matches," he said. "It is only a matter of two or three games, and if we can win them all, then the league race is over. It was great joy winning the President's Cup, but we must put that behind us and now try and win the next game with Baniyas."

By winning the President's Cup, Jazira are now assured of a place in the 2012 Asian Champions League, and with the UAE set to receive three spots and a qualifying berth, the battle is on among the chasing pack to finish in the top four places in the league.

apassela@thenational.ae