Marmar: Al Ahed's job is not done
Amman: Al Ahed coach Bassem Marmar was happy his side will return to Beirut in a positive mood following their 0-0 draw with Jordan’s Al Jazeera in the first leg of their 2019 AFC Cup West Zonal Final on Tuesday.
Al Jazeera had a slight edge over the 90 minutes but another resolute defensive performance from Al Ahed meant the teams couldn't be separated, leaving next week's return leg enticingly poised.
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Marmar admitted that the result was Al Ahed's aim at the Amman International Stadium.
“We came to Jordan and we knew that we would be playing against a good side,” he said in the post-match press conference."
“We wanted to return to Lebanon with a positive result - whether by scoring a goal, winning or avoiding defeat.”
“Al Jazeera were the better side in the first half and had several scoring chances. However, they were physically affected in the second half and this gave us the upper hand.”
Al Ahed continued their superb defensive display in this year’s AFC Cup as they have conceded only three goals in seven matches while Mahdi Khalil is yet to be beaten in the knockout stage.
Marmar praised his defenders who have “great experience in Asian football.”
“We also played with good defensive organisation while we learnt a lot from the mistakes that we made last year which helped us to avoid conceding easy goals,” he added.
While Al Ahed kept a third clean sheet, Marmar needs his side to score in the return leg to advance to the AFC Cup final on November 2.
“The first part of the encounter is now over but we still have to play another part in Lebanon,” he said.
“In football nothing is done before the final whistle and we should remember that Al Jazeera managed to make a good comeback in the Zonal semi-finals.
“From our experience in the competition, we now have a good side,” he said. “Last year we played good football against Air Force Club (in the semi-finals) but we made mistakes and lost.”
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