Abu Dhabi: Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic held himself responsible for his side’s first loss in the Arabian Gulf League on Saturday.
Yaqoub Al Hosani’s late goal saw Al Jazira steal a 2-1 win over Al Ain at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.
“I take responsibility because I did not make the right substitutions that I should have made to get the desired result,” Mamic said in the post-match press briefing.
“The opponent achieved their goals as they capitalised on the opportunities we gave them. On the other hand, we wasted a lot of chances against Al Jazira. If you end up missing chances then you also end up conceding goals,” said Mamic, whose side has now slipped to the third spot in the standings following the result.
The win has swelled Al Jazira’s points tally to 14 points, putting them level with Sharjah at the top of the table, ahead of their encounter against Ittihad Kalba.
Al Ain have 13 points and will be facing Ajman next.
“We have to learn from this loss today and work hard and play according to situations. Yes, we got a goal against Fujairah in the final minutes but today we conceded two goals. This can happen in football but we were not in the required level today. We kept losing too many balls easily,” added Mamic, whose side led in the 33rd minute through Markus Berg before Jazira drew level five minutes before full time through Leonardo Pereira.
Al Hosani then snatched the full three points for Jazira with a brilliant curling left footed effort in the dying minutes.
An elated Jazira coach Marcel Kaiser said later: “Al Ain are a big team and to win against them is not easy. We showed good spirit and in the second half made some good substitutions and that made all the difference and enabled us to get a favourable result,” said a delighted Kaiser, adding that his payers had great desire to win against Al Ain.
“The brilliance of some of the players had put me in a difficult challenge — so choosing what combination I should opt for the next game.”