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No excuses for heavy defeat, says Al Ain’s Emanuel

Al Ain: Al Ain FC head coach Pedro Emanuel had no excuses for the UAE side’s heavy defeat in their 2020 AFC Champions League Group D opener to Islamic Republic of Iran’s Sepahan FC on Tuesday.

The Portuguese saw his side go into the break 1-0 down through Mohammad Mohebbi’s header at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium before a second half blitz saw Brazilian Kiros, Soroush Rafiei and Mohammad Tayebi seal a big win for Sepahan.

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“We didn’t achieve our targets in the match and we should have had a different approach,” said Emanuel, who took charge just a few weeks ago.

“I asked the players before the match to control the play and try their best to convert chances into goals,” he added. “When we had the chance to score, we failed to convert.”

Group D - MD1: Al Ain FC 0-4 Sepahan FC

Emanuel conceded that Sepahan were extremely strong and maximised their chances, especially in the second half.

“We knew that Sepahan are a strong team and that they are quick in transitioning into attack. They knew how to finish their attacks.

“We were not good and we can’t look for excuses for the defeat. However, we should try our best to prepare for the next match to regain the trust of our fans.”

Sepahan FC head coach Amir Ghalenoei was pleased with the big victory achieved away from home.

“We are very happy with the big result,” said Ghalenoei. “We achieved what we came here to do - which was to get the three points in our first match."

“All the players produced a fighting performance and they fulfilled their duties,” he said. “We controlled the midfield and our players successfully stopped the threat of Al Ain’s key players.

“The result against Al Ain will give big motivation for the second match against Al Sadd.”

Sepahan play Qatar’s Al Sadd in Doha on Tuesday while Al Ain will host Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr.

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