Abu Dhabi: Al Jazira coach Damien Hertog believes the 3-0 victory over Ajman was an important result for his team as they returned to winning ways in the Arabian Gulf League.
In Friday’s clash at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium, Leonardo opened the scoring to give Al Jazira a first-half lead. Ajman had opportunities to equalise but were made to pay as the hosts doubled their tally thanks to Ali Mabkhout’s effort. Minutes later, the home fans were again celebrating as Abdullah Ramadan made it three to complete the victory.
While the result saw Al Jazira regain third position in the standings, Hertog described claiming the three points were crucial following last week’s defeat to Baniyas.
“Winning 3-0 was a very good result for us. I’m happy with the victory against Ajman who are a difficult team to beat,” Hertog said in the post-match press conference. “We didn’t play one of our best games today but it was an important result and victory for us. During the season, we have played a lot of games where we performed strongly but didn’t win. This wasn’t the case today and this victory will help us maintain our position in the league and keep the spirits high within the camp.”
Despite their 10th win of the season, Hertog said there’s still room for improvement from his players. “We were not on the top of our game for the full 90 minutes but got the job done,” said the Dutchman. “The team played well after a good week of training but I believe we can play a lot better for the rest of the season.”
Al Jazira will next be in action at the end of the month when they face league leaders Sharjah on March 29. Hertog revealed there is already a programme in place over the four weeks to ensure they are at their sharpest when the AGL resumes.
“We will be giving the players some days off to rest as it is important to recover,” he said. “We will also play some friendlies to ensure the players are match fit which will help us be ready for Sharjah.”
Meanwhile, a stoppage-time goal from Ryan Mendes gave Sharjah a 1-0 win over Fujairah at Fujairah Stadium on Friday night. Mendes netted the winner in the eighth minute of injury time. He found Igor Coronado’s long ball on the edge of the box and sidestepped a marker before scoring. The Kings with that win have consolidated their position at the top of the table with 43 points, eight points edge over second-placed Al Ain.
Al Wasl also defeated Emirates Club 2-1 and earned their second win in a row at Emirates Club Stadium.