Coach «Annabi»: High professional performance led us to a big win

Clean sheets and taking advantage of half chances behind Al Wahda's qualification in the Arab Championship

  • Al Wahda booked its place in Group D of the King Salman Cup. From the source

  • Dutch Al Wahda coach Poetenweg. From the source


Al-Wahda deserved to qualify for the group stage of the King Salman Cup for Arab Champions Football Clubs, through a difficult path in which it first collided with the Lebanese Tower, and then the Royal Moroccan Army, but in both rounds Al-Annabi was realistic in dealing with the four matches. It was remarkable that Al Wahda was distinguished by a clean sheet and a very high concentration in front of the opponent's goal to take advantage of half chances, and turn them into goals.

And booked «Annabi» his place in the fourth group, which includes the Algerian Belouizdad youth, and Moroccan Raja, in addition to the qualifier from the face of Mauritanian Nouadhibou and Kuwait Kuwait, and is scheduled to release the official schedule of the dates of the group stage matches later. This is the second time that Al-Wahda has appeared in the Arab championship, after 2017, when they were deposited from the first round with three defeats against Algeria's Nasr Hussein Dey, Egypt's Al-Ahly and Jordan's Al-Faisaly.

Al Wahda has recently been experiencing a distinctive awakening, which began locally, as it regained the compass in the last rounds of the ADNOC Professional League for the past season, and imposed itself as a major competitor with Shabab Al Ahli, who was later crowned the title, and Al Ain team, which finished the race as runners-up.

Al-Wahda was distinguished in the Arab Championship since the first preliminary round, when it faced the Lebanese tower, as it was considered as a meeting with more than one Lebanese team at the same time, as the tower management mobilized the most prominent stars of other clubs that agreed to loan their players to compete in the competition, but this did not cause any difficulties for Al-Wahda, as it won the first leg 3-1 and the second leg <>-zero. It was remarkable that the list included the tower players: Hadi Mortada (solidarity Sour) and Antoine Douaihy (Salam Zgharta) in goalkeeping, Mohamed Al-Husseini and Mohamed Zain Tahan (serenity), Hussein Daqiq (Al-Ahed) in defense, Bilal Sabbagh and Nigerian Emmanuel Obiri (Al-Ahed), Guinean Konaté (wisdom) in the middle, and Senegalese Boukonta Sarr (wisdom) in attack.

In front of a strong opponent such as the Royal Moroccan Army in the second preliminary round, things were more difficult in the first leg in Rabat, where the meeting ended in a goalless draw, but 'Annabi' returned and swept his rival with a clean triple, the day before yesterday, in the second leg in Abu Dhabi. Al Wahda coach, the Dutchman Arnaud Poetenweg, praised the performance of his players and their great victory over the army, and said: "His players dealt with the match very professionally as usual."

He added in the press conference after the match: «We played a great match at home, and we played well defensively, especially after we advanced with the first goal, and we succeeded in closing the spaces for the guests, thanks to the good tactics of our players». "The high professional performance led us to a big win against an opponent who leads the league in his country," Poetneguig said.

And about his future with the team after he was serving as coach of the club's academy, and was temporarily hired until the end of the season, as a replacement for the Spaniard Jimenez, he said: «This is my last match this season, but my contract is extended with Al Wahda until the end of next June, and I will talk with the club's management at the beginning of next July». On the future of Al Wahda in the group stage, Poetnweg said: "It is difficult to predict the group stage from now, with some teams remaining that have matches, while we have finished the season."

Dacruz: The defeat is very disappointing

The coach of the Royal Moroccan Army team, Frenchman Fernando Dacruz, said that "frustration grips the team, and that many problems we suffer led to this defeat at the hands of the unit."

He continued in the press conference: «The defeat is very frustrating, we suffered in the game, especially as we lacked offensive effectiveness and focus in finishing attacks, which was clear in the home and away matches, and I hope to overcome this matter in the coming period».

Al Wahda coach, the Dutchman Poetneweg, confirms that his contract is extended with the 'Annabi' until the end of next June.