Jimenez: Luck was not on Al Wahda’s side
Abu Dhabi: Manuel Jimenez was left to rue Al Wahda FSCC’s lack of luck as the UAE Pro League side settled for a draw in their opening 2020 AFC Champions League Group A match on Monday.
Al Ahli Saudi FC took the lead through Abdulfattah Asiri at the hour mark but Korea Republic’s Rim Chang-woo’s last-minute equaliser rescued a point for Al Wahda at Al Nahyan Stadium.
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Head coach Jimenez felt it was a case of two points lost rather than one gained despite the late equaliser.
“It was a very competitive game but we were not lucky,” said Jimenez.
“Al Wahda gave the match their all. I suppose one, given the circumstances, is fair but we should have won.”
Goalscorer Rim was glad Al Wahda managed to rescue a point as he sets his eyes on advancing to the knockout stage for the second successive year.
“The match was very intense for us,” said the Korean defender. “We are used to playing in such a big competition but the match was not easy.
“The most important thing is that we got one point,” he added. “Personally I think that there no easy teams in our group and we have to focus until the end.”
FT: Al Wahda FC (🇦🇪) 1 - 1 Al Ahli FC (🇸🇦)— #ACL2020 (@TheAFCCL) February 10, 2020
Al Wahda leave it late in the game (thanks to Rim) to come back and take away what seemed to be like a confirmed 3 points for their visitors. #ACL2020 #WAHvAHL pic.twitter.com/uGhQIibjEI
Al Ahli Saudi FC head coach Christian Gross was understandably not satisfied, with victory slipping away in the dying moments of the tie.
“I’m not satisfied with the result because we lost two points in the last minute of the match,” said Gross. “But I’m content with the general performance of the players given that it was an away match."
“The match, however, showed that we need to work on our defensive tactics and the dead ball situations.”
“Our ambition is to advance from the group and the results of the two matches (in Group A) shows that all four teams in the group are strong,” he said. “We should expect tough competition in our group.”
Al Ahli Saudi FC next face Islamic Republic of Iran's Esteghlal FC on Monday while Al Wahda will face Iraq's Al Shorta.
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