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Braga Extracts the Positive Points from Al Wasl Defeat

Abu Dhabi: 21 August 2015
The manager of Al Jazira team Abel Braga failed to hide his disappointment for accepting a defeat in his first official match after returning to Al Jazira, but at the same time he extracts many positive points from this negative result.
Speaking to the media after the game he said “Its very difficult and complicated for any team to play their opening match of the season under this extremely hard weather conditions, and with one player missing since the 24th minute against good and well organized team like Al Wasl. The opponent used his numerical advantage very well and their victory was logical at the end. They were not the better technical side because we matched them even after we lost one of our players with direct card, but they got the 3 points because physically we failed to overcome the dismissal accident”.
The coach stressed that the defensive performance was not bad as the result may suggest, and explained “I don’t think we were bad on the defensive sides, we accept one goal from free kick and another one by coincidence. Al Wasl used their numerical advantage and the game scenario went as they wish, I was forced to return Park to the middle of the back line and convert Neves into a deep and defensive midfielder and these decisions affected our attacking solutions in a negative ways of course. I am 100% confident that there is no team in UAE has successfully reached their ideal fitness level because it’s still very early in the season, and Al Jazira is not an exception from this situation so we should be happy and satisfied about what we saw from our players today”.
Braga praised his players for their reaction after conceding the first goal, and after seeing their teammate Musallem Fayez leaving the pitch with direct red card, and said “This is the first time for me to lose an opening game in the league, and am sad of course about this, but at the same time I am very satisfied and happy and also proud of the players who completed the game under this hard weather and without one of their teammates, because their reaction to this situation was exceptional. They showed great team spirit and unity and they sacrificed for the team and proved to me and to their fans that they are solid group inside the field and great family outside. I had to return Farfan to the right full back position and he did good job until I pulled him out and replaced him with Sultan Al Suwaidi, who was also great and helped the team defensively and offensively after he joined the team in the second half”.
“Musallem Fayez was professional enough to step up and apologize to me and to his teammates and I accept his apology and of course I will not apply any discipline decision upon him”, Braga added.
The Brazilian insisted that the defeat will not be a wake call for his team, and explained “We don’t need a wakeup call; we showed great reaction to what we faced today, we accepted a goal from a free kick and another by strike of luck, we missed one player by red card and played the remaining 65 minutes under a very hard weather, but we defended and attacked and created some chances and we kept trying until the end. The situation would be very different if we lost a player with red card in November or December, where the weather is perfect for football, so we have to put all these factors in our considerations before we start judging the players and the team because of this one defeat”.