Abu Dhabi: Al Wahda coach Henk ten Cate is confident of his side keeping the winning momentum when they host Qatar’s Al Rayyan in the return leg of the Group ‘B’ fixture of the AFC Champions League at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Monday. The action starts at 7.20pm.
“It is going to be an interesting game for both teams. For them, it will be a last chance to do something in this competition and for us a big chance to get a step forward to qualification,” said Ten Cate adding that, his side will not be taking the opposition lightly despite having beaten them in the first leg.
Al Wahda had rallied from a goal down to beat Al Rayyan following an injury time penalty conversion from their Brazilian striker Leonardo.
The Emirati side thus, has recovered from a 2-0 defeat to PFC Lokomotiv on the opening matchday to go on and win their next two games.
They also handed Al Ittihad a 4-1 drubbing before registering the hard-fought 2-1 win against Al Rayyan in Doha.
Al Wahda are currently on six points from three outings and so is Al Ittihad but the former top the standings on better goal difference.
“Even though we have beaten them in their home, we know they have the ability. They have some good football players and are a very organised team. It is going to be a hard game but I’m optimistic of my team’s chances,” added the Dutchman, who will be without the services of his mid-fielder Mohammad Abdulbasit, who again misses out with a recurring injury.
Al Wahda’s ace Argentine striker Sebastián Tagliabué also warned his teammates from being complacent saying that the opponents will be keen to avenge the loss from the last outing.
“They will come hard at us and it is going to be an amazing game. It is a very important game for us. It is one of the most important games as we have never been in this position in the tournament like this before. We should focus on getting all the three points to make a good game,” said Tagliabue, who has scored in the last outing against Al Rayyan.
Al Rayyan, on the other side, have been inconsistent so far in the tournament. After facing a morale shattering 5-1 Matchday One defeat to Al Ittihad, then overcoming Lokomotiv 2-1, before losing again to Al Wahda.
Like Al Wahda, who are out of the title race in their domestic league, Al Rayyan are fourth in the Qatar Stars League.