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ACL2020: Haikal credits Shabab Al Ahli Dubai's experience for win over Shahr Khodro


Doha: Experience, said defender Abdulaziz Haikal, helped UAE's Shabab Al Ahli Dubai FC defeat Shahr Khodro FC 1-0 in their 2020 AFC Champions League Group B match on Thursday.

Substitute Spanish striker Pedro Conde scored the winner with his first touch four minutes after coming on to steer Shabab Al Ahli past the Islamic Republic of Iran side for their second win.

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Haikal, named Man of the Match for his splendid performance on the right flank, said tactical familiarity helped his side get the three points.

“Most of the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai players are experienced and they play for the national team,” said Haikal. “Our style of play is to control the ball with good distribution and this is what we did today.”

Group B - MD4: Shahr Khodro FC 0-1 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai

“I’m happy with this win and I want to thank my teammates for all that they showed in the match. We needed a victory in order to remain in contention.

“We have learnt a lot of lessons from this match,” added the 30-year-old defender. “We will analyse what what we did today and try our best to avoid mistakes in our next matches.”

Forward Ahmed Khalil said fatigue affected Shabab Al Ahli as they were playing the same side for the second time in three days.

“The match was very hard and definitely playing against the same team for the second time in a short period made things harder as well,” said the 29-year-old forward.

“We had a slow start but in the second half, we fixed the mistakes and managed to get the three points. Our next match (against Pakhtakor on Monday) will be harder and we must be ready.”

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