Sat 01 May 2021 | 9:28

Micale delighted to see Al Hilal advance in the AFC Champions League

Al Hilal coach Rogério Micale believes that his side was lucky to go to the AFC Champions League Round of 16 following their 2-0 loss at the hands of UAE’s Shabab Al Ahli in their Group A clash on Friday.

Igor Jesus’s brace has almost blown away

Al Hilal

’s dreams of making it to Round 16 as they sat behind FC Istiklol and eventually got qualified.

Brazilian tactician

Rogério Micale

insisted that his side had control over

Shabab Al Ahli

; however, they couldn’t meet the target and suffered the loss of finishing top of the group.

It’s true that we lost today but Shabab Al Ahli's first chance was when they got the penalty and then they scored the second goal from a quick counter attack. The defeat cost us the chance to finish top of the group as we had to wait to see the result of the last match,"

said a disappointed Micale.

“We can’t look for reasons behind the defeat or blame anyone. The players that I chose before the tournament were players who we could use and take advantage of in the matches.

“The group was not as easy as some might think as the last team in the group won against the pacesetters and this shows that all the four teams in the group are strong.

“It has been a difficult year for our team. Recently, we achieved four consecutive victories and we believed that we were back on track but we are back to square one now.”

Mahdi Ali

, Shabab Al Ahli’s coach, was satisfied with his side’s performance notwithstanding many changes to the starting XI given the injury setbacks.

It was a difficult match for us although we had lost our chances already. It was, on the other hand, an important match for Al Hilal who played the same way they played against us in the previous meeting,”

said the former UAE national team head coach.

“We made some changes because of injuries. However, all the players performed strongly as they stopped the key players of Al Hilal.

“In the second half, we were good physically as we had five or six players who didn’t feature much in the previous match and we managed to seal the win.”

source: SportMob

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