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Al Ain goalkeeper’s call

Ahmad wants team to look forward to making amends in Arabian Gulf League campaign

Gulf News

Al Ain: Al Ain goalkeeper Esmail Ahmad has hoped that his team’s denial of a second AFC Champions League crown won’t harm their future starting with their campaign in the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) in two days time.

Al Ain will have to make an arduous trip to the other end of the emirate for their ninth round fixture against Al Dhafra on November 30. In addition, the 2016 AFC Champions League runners-up will have to make up for loss time and engage in earlier missed encounters against defending champions Al Ahli, Hatta and Al Jazira.

Very rarely called into action for much of the match at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday, Ahmad could do very little in stopping a fierce finish from early substitute Han Kyo-Won off a Lee Jae-Sung corner kick. “We played a good game, but we found no way past their defence. The Koreans had one chance and they scored. We did well to get the equaliser soon, but there was more pressure on us after the missed penalty [by Dyanfres Douglas],” the Al Ain goalkeeper observed.

“I think the missed penalty had a psychological effect on all of us. But then this is football and we must accept this and continue to work for the future,” he added.

After playing just six rounds of the AGL, The Boss is in sixth position with five wins and a draw for 13 points. Al Wasl have gone unbeaten for the past seven matches for 21 points at the top of the standings followed by Al Jazira in second with 17 points, and a game in hand.

“What has happened should not affect us for the future, especially in the league [AGL]. I am very sad, and so are the other players, but we need to come to terms with the situation and look ahead,” Ahmad insisted.