Dubai: Sharjah are hoping to draw from the inspiration of last season to get the better of strong opponents Shabab Al Ahli Dubai when the Arabian Gulf Super Cup is played at Al Nasr’s Al Maktoum Stadium on Saturday.
Last crowned champions at the end of the 1995-96 season, Sharjah will be making their first-ever appearance in this competition after winning the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) crown last year. After topping the table for the first few weeks, Sharjah stuttered during the second half, but did well to wrap up their sixth league title.
En route, the King maintained a clean sheet barring a lone loss to Al Wasl at the end of the league. Among their victims was Shabab Al Ahli Dubai on both occasions, but that matters little to Sharjah coach Abdul Aziz Al Anbari. “What I have stressed to my players is that those past results mean very little. What is important is this match tomorrow and we need to give off our best to win our first trophy this season,” Al Anbari told media.
Sharjah didn’t have the best of starts this season while crashing to defeats in their first two matches of the Arabian Gulf Cup before igniting their followers with a 5-0 drubbing of Ajman last week. “Even though we lost I congratulated my players for their effort. And this belief paid dividends against Ajman,” Al Anbari added.
Making a huge difference was the arrival of Cape Verde’s Ricardo Gomes in place of Brazilian Welliton Soares, who scored thrice in last week’s win against Ajman. Gomes was inspirational with his three goals, duly set up by playmaker Igor Coronado.
“We can see Ricardo’s quality already. A striker leads by scoring goals and the hat-trick last week will have helped him as the pressure is gone,” Coronado reflected.
“Nothing has changed since last season. We are in it to win it,” he added.