Lamouchi still believes El Jaish can impress
29 Sep 2016 - 1:49
Al Ain: El Jaish coach Sabri Lamouchi (pictured) is determined his team will not give up on their dream of a place in their first ever AFC Champions League final, despite losing the first leg of their semi-final meeting with Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates.
Sardor Rashidov netted a 52nd minute penalty for El Jaish to give the Qataris what could be a vital away goal ahead of the second leg in Doha in three weeks’ time in a 3-1 defeat against an Al Ain side inspired by the talented Omar Abdulrahman.
The UAE international midfielder set up his side’s first and third goals - for Douglas and Caio respectively - while also curling in a delightful free kick of his own to give Zlatko Dalic’s side a healthy first-leg advantage.
“To be honest it will be very hard to score two goals against Al Ain in the second leg but we will not throw the towel and we will try our best to recover before preparing for the match,” said Lamouchi.
“I hope that we can give our best in that match although it will not be easy because we are playing against one of the strongest teams in Asia.”
El Jaish were second-best for most of the first half as Al Ain bristled with intent. Abdulrahman set up Douglas for the opener in the 16th minute with a powerful run to the bye-line before cutting a high ball back to the far post from where the striker headed home.
Five minutes later he curled in a dipping free kick that gave Khalifa Ababacar little chance in the El Jaish goal and the visitors only came to life late in the half when Romarinho hit the woodwork with a free kick of his own.
Rashidov gave El Jaish hope seven minutes after the restart when he converted from the spot following Ismail Ahmed’s handball but a handling error by Ababacar in injury time saw him fail to claim Abdulrahman’s cross from the right to leave Caio to score into an empty net.
“Our situation is now very hard because we must score two goals,” said Lamouchi.
“It is always hard to get a positive result when you wake up late. Al Ain players have a lot of experience and several of them play with the national team, unlike our players who played with good attacking performance and who scored a goal in the match.”