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Al Ittihad 1-1 Al Jazira

26 April 2009 No Comment

Source: www.the-afc.com

Al Ittihad coach Gabriel Calderon slammed his players on Wednesday after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Al Jazira of the UAE at Prince Abdullah Stadium saying that the result was barely deserved.

“My team’s performance was extremely bad and they did not deserve the draw. A fair result would have been a win for Al Jazira who played very well,” said the Argentine.

The two-time AFC Champions League winners took the lead five minutes before the break through Osama Al Harbi but Al Jazira took control after the break and got a deserved equaliser with 20 minutes remaining when Fernando Baiano blasted home from a tight angle.

The draw saw the Tigers move to the top of Group C with eight points while Al Jazira are third with only three.

“It was a good result for us to come up with one point if you look at the team’s performance,” continued Calderon.

“We were lucky to score in the first half and Al Jazira did very well after the break when they put us under pressure.

Calderon felt that his team’s busy finish to the season was one of the main factors for their disappointing performance.

“In the next few days, we will play one match every five days, I know it will be so difficult for players to do better but we have to accept this situation.

“Our next games in the AFC Champions League are very important and so are our matches in the Saudi King’s Cup.

Al Jazira still have much work to do if they hope to qualify for the knockout stage but coach Abel Braga was pleased with the good away result.

“We earned one point from Estghlal in Tehran and another one point here so I think my team did a great job,” he said.

“They have many options on their front line and that helped them to take the lead. They had four players creating scoring chances and that made it difficult for us.

“In the second half we were able to stop their threats and took control of possession.”

Braga still believes that his team can make up the deficit on the front-runners in the group.

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