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Maradona on cusp of greatest club managerial achievement

Argentine World Cup winning legend could get Fujairah promoted to AGL in only his first season in charge

Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News
Diego Maradona
Gulf News

Dubai: Diego Maradona’s Fujairah can confirm their promotion to the Arabian Gulf League on Friday in the final round of UAE First Division fixtures.

Leaders Bani Yas are three points clear at the top of the table with two games in hand, and a superior goal difference, but the fight for second, and with it automatic promotion, concludes between Fujairah and Kalba on the last day of the season.

Both Fujairah and Kalba are level on 43 points and Kalba are ahead on goal difference, but providing Fujairah win or at least get a better result than Kalba in their last game on Friday, Fujairah will advance due to a better head-to-head record with Kalba.

Fujairah are at home to Khor Fakkan, and Kalba take on Al Urooba at home, with both games kicking off at 6pm.

If successful, this would be Maradona’s greatest club managerial achievement to date.

The Argentine former Boca, Barcelona and Napoli 1986 World Cup winning striker qualified Argentina to the 2010 World Cup as coach but then bowed out in the quarter-final to Germany. He didn’t win anything either before or since while in charge of Argentine club sides Mandiyu de Corrientes and Racing Club in the mid-nineties, or with the UAE’s Al Wasl in 2011/12.

With this being only Maradona’s first season at Fujairah, promotion to the AGL would be a notable feat.

This weekend also sees the final round of Arabian Gulf League matches take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Al Ain have already secured the title and Al Wahda are confirmed for second but the battle for third and an Asian Champions League spot goes to the wire between Al Wasl and Al Nasr.

Al Nasr are just two points behind Al Wasl and can leapfrog their rivals with victory away to Emirates Club if Al Wasl slip up away to Shabab Ahli Dubai Club.

Emirates will need to win that game just as much however to avoid joining Hatta in relegation. The Ras Al Khaimah side are two points behind third from bottom Al Dhafra and must beat Al Nasr at home while hoping Al Dhafra lose away to Al Ain in order to climb their way out of the ill-fated bottom two. All those grudge matches take place from 7.20pm on Sunday.

 

Fact Box

Division One fixtures

Friday

Fujairah - Khor Fakkan, 6pm

Kalba - Al Urooba, 6pm

Arabian Gulf League

Saturday

Hatta - Ajman, 6pm

Sharjah - Dibba, 8.30pm

Sunday

Shabab Ahli - Al Wasl, 7.20pm

Emirates - Al Nasr, 7.20pm

Al Wahda - Al Jazira, 7.20pm

Al Ain - Al Dhafra, 7.20pm

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