Qatar Football AssociationNews
18.10.2016 7:26 in :

Doha: Coach Sabri Lamouchi has urged El Jaish to believe they can reach the 2016 AFC Champions League final as they aim to overcome a two-goal deficit against inaugural winners Al Ain in the semi-final second leg at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium on Tuesday.

Goals from Douglas and Omar Abdulrahman saw the Qatari side 2-0 down at the interval in the first leg of their first ever semi-final in the continental competition three weeks ago, before a Sardor Rashidov penalty early in the second half restored hope.

But Caio then struck in stoppage time to give the Emiratis a 3-1 victory and El Jaish a mountain to climb ahead of the second leg as Al Ain seek to return to the final for the first time since 2005.

“If we want to get to the final we need to score at least two goals, but maybe it will take three or even four,” said Frenchman Lamouchi.

“It will be a very tough game – they have a lot of quality, good players and a two-goal advantage which makes it easier for them.

“Even if we score two it might not be enough. We have a chance but, to be honest, it’s only very small. But only one chance is enough to believe.”

Tuesday’s clash will be the fourth time the sides have faced off in this year’s tournament after El Jaish had earlier claimed an impressive double over Al Ain by securing back-to-back 2-1 wins in their opening two Group D encounters.

Since those defeats, though, Zlatko Dalic’s team have remained unbeaten – winning six and drawing three – to confidently progress to the brink of a third final.

But should El Jaish overhaul the deficit and book a date with either Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors or FC Seoul, both of Korea Republic, they would become the first Qatari side to reach the final since Al Sadd won the competition in 2011.

“We must be smart and put them under pressure – there’s no other option,” added Lamouchi, whose side warmed up for the match with a 1-0 victory over Al Khor in the Qatar Stars League on Thursday.“Of course it’s better to score early and get the first goal, but they will also have a solution to this and have players like Douglas, Danilo Asprilla and Abdulrahman who can score.

“But I’m proud of my players and we are so close now. We will give it our maximum, maybe it will not be enough but we must have no regrets after the game.”