El Jaish eye Al Arabi scalp ahead of ACL semis

 21 Sep 2016 - 21:33

El Jaish eye Al Arabi scalp ahead of ACL semis
Al Arabi coach Gerardo Pelusso (left) and player Mustafa Sal during a press conference at Al Sadd Stadium yesterday. RIGHT: El Jaish SC head coach Sabri Lamouchi (right) and player Mourad Naji during a press conference. Photos by Kammutty VP/The Peninsul

The Peninsula

By Armstrong Vas

Doha:  Al Arabi and El Jaish will be keen to maintain their winning streak in Round 2 of the Qatar Stars League action.

Both teams, which got off to a winning start in their opening games clash at the Al Arabi Stadium here todayin the match of the week.

Reds’ coach Gerardo Pelusso, is confident his team’s preparation is on track ahead of the game.

“The preparations were very good this week and all the players are ready,” said the Uruguayan on the eve of the match.

“El Jaish is one of the best teams in the league and they have very good stability. We also have great history and some good player such as Ezekiel, Moustafa Sall and Paulinho amongst others who will give their best to add to this history,” added the tactician.

Speaking about his foreign and local players Pelusso said: “We have a team of stars because we want to bring the local and foreign players in the same level. As a coach I think all the players are important.”

El Jaish have tough schedule ahead as they are in the semi-finals of the AFC champions league against UAE’s Al Ain. The soldiers won their opening encounter against Al Wakrah and will be keen to continue their rich vein of form.

 “Our second game is against an important club in Qatar. They have a good coach and good players they won their first game as well. We are ready to play this game and get the maximum points,” said Sabri Lamouchi, coach of El Jaish.

“It will be difficult to manage both AFC Champions League and QSL. I trust in my players as they have good focus. And the best way to train 

El Jaish will be boosted with Senegalese defender Moustapha Sall and Nigerian attacker Imoh Ezekiel, who are set for their league debuts. 

As for the visitors, El Jaish squeezed past Al Wakrah with an opening day 2-1 victory. 

Lamouchi’s side where made to sweat out the final fifteen minutes after conceding a late goal. Jaish will be hoping summer signing Sediou Keita will be able to dictate play in the centre of the park, just like the former Malian international did in his two previous games for the side.

Al Arabi won their first game against Al Sailiya even though they were missing key players. However, they will be stronger as their foreign professionals will be able to play the match against El Jaish.

An early kick off will see Al Khor take on Al Sailiya at Al Khor stadium. Both sides lost their opening tie of the QSL season, and will be looking to get their first three points.

Khor will be looking to push home advantage, especially after narrowly losing 2-1 to Umm Salal in the opening game of the season. As for the visitors Al Sailiya, they narrowly lost 1-0 to Al Arabi in their opening fixture of the season. Sami Trabelsi’s side will consider themselves unlucky not to have at least grabbed a point from the tie, and will be eager to make amends against Khor.

Jean Fernandez, the head coach of Al Khor wants his team to have a positive reaction to their last defeat, “We lost the first game and we want to come back. We are preparing for Sailiya they are a good team with good qualifications. If we want a good game against Sailiya we need to concentrate.

“Our plan for the upcoming period is to focus on the Sailiya game. After a week the league will be paused and in this period we have to correct our mistakes with good preparation,” added the Frenchman.

Al Sailiya like their opponents also lost their league opener. They lost by a slim margin against Al Arabi and will be looking to correct their mistakes in the upcoming game against Al Khor. Sami Trabelsi,  head coach of Al Sailiya believes that there is a long way to go in the league.

 “We will try to show our character in the next game. Our character is the fighting spirit and team work. We don’t need to make a big deal of losses in the beginning of the season because there is a long way to go.”

“Al Khor didn’t deserve to lose their last game. They are well organised side and they have very fast players. A team like that can face problems like any team,” added the Tunisian tactician.

Speaking about the last game, Trabelsi added, “It was one of the worst games of the last three years for us because we lost our identity and our fighting spirit. I hope we can show our true selves in the upcoming matches.”

At the same time at Al Arabi stadium, the two promoted sides Al Shahaniya and Muaither will play each other. Both sides had heavy defeats against QSL title contenders Al Rayyan and Lekhwiya respectively.

Shahaniya fell to a 3-0 opening day defeat to reigning QSL champions Al Rayyan.  Muaither went down to Lekhwiya with a comprehensive 4-0 score line. 

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