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Al Ain deserve to go through, says head coach Emanuel

Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Al Ain-ACL2020

Al Ain: Head coach Pedro Emanuel said Al Ain FC were worthy winners over FC Bunyodkor as the UAE Pro League side advanced to the 2020 AFC Champions League group stage on Tuesday.

Despite Saeed Juma’s second-half strike ultimately deciding the tie, Al Ain dominated against the Uzbekistan club at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

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The Portuguese, who took charge earlier this month, said Al Ain were the better side against the five-time Uzbekistan league champions.

“We had a great performance as the players were fully concentrated on their task,” said Emanuel.

“We tried our best to score in the first half but failed to convert the chances that we created,” he added. “We went into the second period with big determination not to concede and at the same time, score.”

👏 Teams for the #ACL2020 Group Stage are now confirmed!

— #ACL2020 (@TheAFCCL) January 28, 2020

Victory means Al Ain will play in Group D of the 2020 AFC Champions League alongside Islamic Republic of Iran’s Sepahan FC, Al Sadd of Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr and the 44-year-old Emanuel said he was counting on the fans to power the team on.

“It is important that we won tonight and I hope that we can see many fans supporting us in the competition.”

#ACL2020 - Play-offs: Al Ain 1-0 FC Bunyodkor

Scorer Juma also praised the fans for playing an important role in Tuesday’s win.

“We appreciate our fans who deserved this victory,” he said. “They supported us throughout the match and we are happy that we managed to achieve such an important victory.

“Winning against Bunyodkor and advancing to the group stage of the competition is our first step on this long road and hopefully the end of our journey will be bright,” he added.

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