This is where things get harder, says Marmar
Beirut: Al Ahed coach Bassem Marmar was adamant his team still has room for improvement despite overcoming Al Wehdat 1-0 on aggregate to reach the 2019 AFC Cup West Zonal Final for the first time in their history.
The Lebanese side held on to secure a goalless draw at home on Monday and book a place in the West Zonal Final off the back of a 1-0 away victory over Al Wehdat in the first leg a week earlier.
“I would like to apologise to the fans,” said Marmar. “We have not played to the level they have come to expect from us. We achieved the most important thing which is reaching the [Zonal] final, but we could and should have played better.”
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In eight previous AFC Cup appearances, Al Ahed’s best result was reaching the semi-finals in 2016. Last year, they were eliminated at the Zonal Semi-Final at the hands of eventual winners Air Force Club, but this time they went one better and find themselves within two games of the coveted title.
“We are closer than ever to the continental title and we feel it, but this is where things get harder. We deserve to win this title, but we need to continue working hard."
The Lebanese champions suffered a blow after captain Haytham Faour was stretched off with a head injury just half an hour into Monday’s game and had to be hospitalised. The club later confirmed that Faour received four stitches but recovered well.
“The injury to Faour in the first half changed our game plan, and it took some time for us to adapt. We fought hard from start to finish and earned the win.”
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