Dalic sets sights on AGL title after huge win

Matt Monaghan 09:17 11/12/2014
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Keep up the beautiful game: Al Ain's Zlatko Dalic wants his team to keep be champions.

Al Ain must use their “beautiful game” against Al Wahda as inspi­ration for an Arabian Gulf League title challenge, according to beam­ing boss Zlatko Dalic.

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– Al Ain end Wahda’s 20-match unbeaten run with emphatic 4-0 win

A statement was made at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium last night, the ruthless 4-0 thrashing handed to the top-flight leaders a contend­er for performance of the season.

The AGL title was wrestled from the Garden City-outfit last term by Al Ahli. With at least two games in hand on their immediate rivals and two points off the top, Al Ain look poised to return to the summit.

“Our target must be to be champi­ons, to take the league,” Dalic said. “I am very happy because we did a big job without several players.

“I am very proud of my players, really proud. My team did every­thing we prepared the last few days.

“It was a special first half. I am sure it was the best 45 minutes in my time at Al Ain.

“We made a big result, giving us big confidence for the future. But we have to now forget the game today and our thoughts move to the next game against Bani Yas.

“I did not expect a beautiful game like this today. We have quality, players who can do everything.

“We played without four or five main players, but my players gave everything.”

There were no complaints from shell-shocked Wahda boss Jose Peseiro, the Portuguese looking back with a rueful smile as their 20- game unbeaten run was ended.

He said: “Al Ain were good, and deserved to win. Our defence was not that good. We didn’t appear the way we wanted to appear, the way we usually are. It is normal to some­times lose a match.

“Congratulations to Al Ain, as they were better. We will evaluate and try to rectify the mistakes we made in the match.”

Wahda must rouse themselves immediately, Monday’s hosting of champions Ahli a ‘sink or swim mo­ment’ in regards to their title aspi­rations.

“The biggest challenge is to lift our confidence,” Peseiro said.

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