We gave our best, says Ellili
Beirut: Al Jazeera coach Chiheb Ellili said that his side gave their best in order to avoid defeat against Lebanon’s Al Ahed in the second leg of the West Asia Zonal Final of this year’s AFC Cup on Tuesday.
After sharing a goalless draw in the first leg at home last week, Al Jazeera lost in Beirut as Tunisian striker Ahmed Akaichi scored the only goal for Al Ahed at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium.
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“Luck was not on our side today,” said Ellili in the post-match press conference. “We failed to have a positive result despite creating many scoring chances in the match.”
“After the scoreless result in the first leg, we were determined to have a good performance tonight and get a positive result,” he added. “We created chances from the left, the right and the middle but we were not lucky.”
Ellili hailed the performance of his players while he also paid tribute to the experience of Akaichi which made the difference.
“The players gave their best in order to reach the final of the competition and I’m really sorry for them because they made a lot of sacrifices,” he explained.
“However, we missed experienced players like Akaichi whose experience helped him to score the goal which was the difference tonight,” said Ellili about his compatriot at Al Ahed.
Despite their AFC Cup exit, Ellili said the defeat will spur his side to try their luck in the future.
“It is a disappointment for sure but this is football at the end of the day,” said the 55-year-old coach. “It could be an end to our road in the competition but it is a start for another positive one for the future.”
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