We failed to take advantage, says Ellili
Amman: Al Jazeera coach Chiheb Ellili rued the chances his side missed against Lebanon’s Al Ahed in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Cup West Zonal final on Tuesday.
Al Jazeera had several chances to put the tie to bed at the Amman International Stadium but allowed Al Ahed to walk away with a goalless draw, leaving next week's return leg enticingly poised.
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“We played with an aim to win the match,” said Ellili in the post-match press conference. “We controlled everything in the first half but we played against an organised side with experienced players.
“We missed the attacking aggressiveness and proper finishing,” he added. “We created several chances, especially in the first half, but we failed to take advantage and score.”
Ellili admitted that lack of competitive football affected his players in the match which was “clear in the last 10 minutes of the match."
“This was our first official match in the last three months,” he explained. “Therefore, we lacked match fitness and some players were injured due to fatigue and exhaustion.”
Despite the result, Al Jazeera still have all to play for in the second leg in Beirut on Tuesday and the Tunisian coach believes in his side's chances despite playing away.
“We still have a chance,” said Ellili. “We will hold on to our chance in order to reach the final although we will play away against a strong side with quick players.
“We are ready to handle the quick pace of the Al Ahed forwards,” added the 55-year-old coach. “We know how to deal with our opponents as we showed today, especially by focusing on the defensive side of our game.”
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