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.
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.
— Al Ain FC (@alainfcae) December 11, 2014
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.
Know more about Sport360 Application