Abu Dhabi: Despite having qualified for the AFC Champions League last 16, Al Wahda coach Henk ten Cate has announced that his team is in no mood to rest on the laurels they have achieved for the first time since 2007.
They will be looking to maintain their winning run when they take on Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad in their last Group B fixture at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on Tuesday. The action starts at 10pm.
Al Wahda go into the clash missing their top scorer Leonardo. The Brazilian has been allowed to travel to his home country ahead of the contest for family reasons.
The Clarets come into the match at the back of their Arabian Gulf League 3-2 loss against champions Sharjah. The setback has put Al Wahda in a tight situation for next year’s AFC Champions League as only top four teams can qualify. They are currently fifth with one match to go and two points separating them and Al Jazira. Only a win in their last fixture against Al Ain would give them a ticket for the 2020 Champions League season.
However, the slip-up should not have much effect on their current AFC aspirations as they are simply on a roll having won four matches in a row.
Al Ittihad, with 10 points, have also qualified for the next round and are two points behind Al Wahda. With top place finish at stake, there is plenty to play for and more importantly, carry the winning momentum into the next round. A draw will be enough for the Emiratis to go through as group leaders, while only the three points will send Al Ittihad top.
In the Group A fixture, UAE’s Al Wasl will be playing for pride against Iraq’s Al Zawraa at Zabeel Stadium.
Both sides have already been eliminated from the latter part of tournament with Iran’s Zobahan and Al Nassr of Saudi sealing their spots in the round of 16 from this group.
Al Zawraa were leading 2-1 at home against Zobahan when Reza Habibzadeh struck late in added time to steal a point and eliminate the Iraqi side.
Al Wasl needed a win in Riyadh against Al Nassr in the last outing, but were instead three goals down by the hour-mark and only Khalil Khamis’ strike could give them something to cheer.