Dubai: Al Wasl coach Diego Maradona is hoping his team`s form in the GCC Champions League can make up for a poor domestic season following Wednesday`s 3-0 semi-final first leg win over Qatar`s Al Khor at Zabeel Stadium on Wednesday night.
After a disappointing first campaign under Maradona eighth in the Etisalat Pro League and out of both domestic cups early Al Wasl`s dream of silverware survives only thanks to their extended run in this GCC-wide tournament.
A Juan Manuel Olivera brace supplied by crosses from Rashid Eisa and Mohammad Khalatbari put the Dubai club in firm control of the match against Al Khor.
Then Eisa Ali`s follow-up from keeper Baba Djibril Gueye`s spill from Rashid Eisa`s shot in added time gave Al Wasl a third goal to take into the return leg next Tuesday.
Maradona said: "This is a small prize for all the difficulties we`ve faced this season in all local competitions. Compared to local league and cup results, this is really something quite pleasing.
"I don`t want to talk about winning this cup yet. We`ll concentrate on the continuation of this form — it`s a comfortable win but away from home it`s not yet over. We`re not going to Qatar next week not to score, but to win the game over there as well."
Passion to win
Maradona added: "Today the better, more technically and mentally prepared, and more organised side won. There was clear passion and ambition among the players to win.
"The win is all down to the players proving themselves and giving something back to the fans to make up for a poor performance during the season. We`ve not been able to win games and have lost due to mistakes. The players want to make up for this.
"I can`t pinpoint one major change but for our ability to better convert chances where in the past we were not able to score. I`m quite happy we`re now making the most of our chances."
BDST: 2149 HRS, May 26, 2012
Chanchal Ghosh, Newsroom Editor
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