Sharjah: Abdul Aziz Al Anbari was thrilled to see his Sharjah Club tied on top of the standings alongside Al Wahda after Round Two of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL).
Sharjah picked up full points to join Al Wahda with an identical six points from two matches with a 6-3 mauling of Al Nasr in second round action of the AGL late on Friday.
Sharjah, who had opened with a 4-0 blanking of Al Dhafra in their opener, followed it up with their 6-3 result late on Friday with former Spartak Moscow striker Welliton Soares — top-scorer in the Russian Premier League in 2009 and 2010 — slamming in four goals.
Soares opened up from the penalty spot in the eighth minute and then was on target again in the 26th, 35th and 86th minutes to head the top-scorers’ list with five goals after just two matches. Fellow Brazilian Igor Coronado and Ryan Mendes were the other scorers as Sharjah remain tied with Al Wahda with six points and an identical goal difference of seven.
“Winning by such a margin doesn’t mean we don’t have our problems,” coach Al Anbari reflected after the match.
“We need to work on staying focused during the entire 90 minutes and not leaking in any goals. But, no one must have imagined such a result especially against a strong team like Al Nasr who wants to be among those fighting for the title. Even though we scored five goals, I had cautioned my players that Al Nasr will come back strongly in the second half. But in the end, it is the three points that matter,” he added.
Al Nasr coach Ivan Jovanovic was in an unrepentant mood though. “The lesson for us is simple. We are a big team and we simply need to improve if we are to be there among the challengers for the crown,” Ivanovic related.
“This has been a very bad day for all of us, and such things happen sometimes in football. We need to just accept the criticism that comes our way and look ahead. No one else can help us. It is left up to us all — to me along with the coaching staff and our players. Together we can achieve anything we want,” he added.
The Serbian, who is at the helm for the second time in five years, was bemused with the way in which Al Nasr conceded five early goals. “It is very difficult for us to accept such a scoreline, but we made amazing mistakes in the defence. However, we did well to pull our way into the match with three goals,” Jovanovic related.
“We can improve with time and hard work. The players are disappointed and they have a right to feel like this, more because of the way in which we lost this game. Everything is not lost. We have the time to make amends,” he added.