Gulf News- Estighlal of
Iran and Nasaf Karsi of Uzbekistan reached the semifinals
of the Asian Clubs championship representing the West
Zone as Jo Bonfrere, the Al Wahda's coach, led the UAE
football to another disastrous results.
The Iranians led the competition with seven points from
three matches after beating Kuwait Club 3-0 in the last
15 minutes of the match at Al Nahyan Stadium yesterday.
Alireza Akbar scored the first goal 30 minutes after the
breather. Faraz Fatemi added the second goal with a
fierce header 3 minutes later.
Kuwait's captain Eid Al Mutairic scored on own goal five
minutes before the end to seal the result for the
Kuwait finished third with two points.
Hosts Al Wahda took lead
in the match. Mohammed Salim Al Enazy put them ahead
after 50 seconds with a beautiful header following a
cross by Fahad Massoud from the right flank.
Al Wahda dominated the match but 20 minutes into the
game, it was clear that there was a conflict between
Bonfrere and his players.
The Dutchman wanted to make a change by introducing
Ismail Matar while the team was leading while his
custodian Ramadan Mallulah was being treated for injury.
Most of the players showed their displeasure with the
coach's intention and Matar retreated to the substitutes
bench as Bonfrere showed his anger by leaving the bench
and going to the dressing room. Bonfrere returned to the substitute bench to finish what
might be his last task for Al Wahda.
The hosts captain Abdul Aziz Ahmed made a big blunder
five minutes before the break when he lobbed back the
ball over his advancing custodian to score an own goal
levelling the score for his Usbek guests.
Hasanov Numon, the Uzbek's midfielder, silenced the
stadium with a powerful 35yard shot that went to
the for upper corner of the net for the winner in the
last minute of the first half. The hosts did not recover from that shot till the end of
Bonfrere made his change and Matar Started the second
half replacing Mohammed Conteh.
Although the hosts dominated the whole second half, they
failed to score because of haste, lack of concentration
and mostly because they used high long balls to reach
their opponent's net.
The Uzbek players were taller and they found no
difficulty in clearing.
As expected, Bonfrere refused o come to the press
conference after the match. Only ten days ago, Bonfrere
returned from Riyadh after leading the UAE national team
to the last standing of the tournament.
Yesterday, Al Wahda finished last with a single point
having failed in two matches to defend their lead.
The team that was once the most entertaining group in the
UAE's of league have played dull matches because of their
coach's defensive 4:4:2 strategies.
The quarterfinals of the Asian Clubs Championship might
be the last straw that broke the coach's back after being
booed by Al Wahda fans yesterday.