x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Walter Zenga unhappy despite Baniyas win

Al Nasr used a pair of goals from Mark Bresciano to defeat Baniyas, but that was little comfort to Nasr's coach, Walter Zenga, who blasted officials over scheduling.

Linardo Lima of Al Nasr finds himself surrounded by Baniyas players. Al Nasr got two goals from Mark Bresciano to win Saturday night.
Linardo Lima of Al Nasr finds himself surrounded by Baniyas players. Al Nasr got two goals from Mark Bresciano to win Saturday night.

DUBAI // Al Nasr extended their winning streak to four in the Pro League, courtesy of a Mark Bresciano brace, to defeat Baniyas 2-1 at the Al Maktoum Stadium Saturday night, but a puzzling schedule seemed to take some of the gloss off the victory for winning coach Walter Zenga.

The Italian criticised the authorities after the match for scheduling the President's Cup in between Pro League fixtures next week.

Nasr have to play Baniyas, again, in the President's Cup next Saturday, and have a league game against Al Wasl on December 23.

"I can't understand why they want to play the President's Cup in the middle of the league because some teams are drawn against first division teams and some have to play tough teams," he said.

"It becomes hard, not only for me, but for every coach and every club who are drawn against Pro League teams. Some teams get to play tough teams and some teams get to play first division clubs, and then some teams have to play another tough side, while some others get to play some weaker team."

Bresciano, the Australian midfielder, opened the scoring with a left-foot rocket from 35 yards that hit the back of the net via the inside of the post. He bagged what proved to be the winner eight minutes from time after Andre Senghor had levelled the score midway through the second half.

The hosts had to close out the match with 10 men after Masoud Hassan was sent off four minutes from time for a second booking.

"We had the game under control," said Zenga. "We had two chances and we scored, and they had one and scored. We are working to get the club into a good position in the league and would like to take one game at a time.

"Nasr haven't won four games in a row for a long time ... We did it last season and this is the second time we have achieved that."

Gabriel Calderon, the Baniyas coach, saw his side lose for the first time under his charge following last week's 2-2 draw against Al Ain.

"We were a bit unlucky because some decisions went against us," said the Argentine.

"I think we deserved two penalties. Of course ,allowing them to score was our mistake."

 

apassela@thenational.ae