QSL: Al Arabi offer no mercy to struggling Al Shahania
30 Mar 2017 - 21:56
By Fawad Hussain / The Peninsula
Relegation-threatened Al Shahania can expect no mercy from Al Arabi as the Osvaldo Olivera’s side is targeting a victory against the struggling team, eyeing a strong finish in the prestigious Qatar Stars League (QSL), which resumes tomorrow.
Both the teams will meet at Al Arabi Stadium in one of the four battles tomorrow, with Olivera hoping his team will give a strong performance at their home venue.
Al Arabi are currently on eighth position after accumulating 27 points from eight victories and three drawn games. They have lost 12 matches.
Expressing satisfaction on his side’s overall show this season, team’s boss Olivera predicted tough matches for his team in April.
“All of our last games have been a battle. I find that the games at the end of the season will always be tough,” he said a pre-match press conference yesterday.
“We have lots of obstacles to face, our staff and our players have behaved so professionally. We have done very well to maintain our status in the first division,” Olivera added.
The coach was optimistic ahead of the clash with Al Shahania, who are desperate to secure points in order to stay in the coveted league.
“We know what Al Shahania will bring to this game they need the points but I am sure my side can come away with a positive result.”
Al Shahania, who have 17 points from 23 games are ahead of bottom-placed Muaither SC (16) and Al Wakrah (14), but the Oryxes are still in the battle to avoid relegation.
However, their coach Igor Stimac was upbeat about his team’s chances in the upcoming games.
“The players were very positive in training (during the break) and we are getting back to the QSL challenge with confidence,” he said ahead of the match.
“In these final games we hope to take our chances in front of goal and improve defensively to get the points we need to survive.”
The Croatian, though warned his ranks to give their best against Al Arabi, which he rated as ‘most popular side in Qatar’.
“Al Arabi have great individuals in the side, and we need to be at our best to win. I told my players that we need to run, fight and be at every second ball if we are to win against Al Arabi, we cannot give them time to realise their individual abilities.”
“All I expect is good football, I want my players to give 100% only then will be able to get the result we need,” he concluded.