Abou-Treika aiming to finish strong with Baniyas
Having been two goals away from winning the GCC Champions League, Baniyas now have the Cup in their sights. Senegalese Andre Sengahor’s 69th-minute equalizer secured an important away goal advantage over Qatar’s Al Khor in the Championship final’s first leg after a 1-1 draw.
It was a pleasing conclusion to what, until then, had been another unsatisfying night for the Emirati club. With Al Khor looking dangerous on the wings for the entirety of the first half, it was obvious who were the hungrier of the two.
Legendary Egyptian Mohamed Abou-Treika was kept quite in the first half and in the initial stages of the second half but it only took one moment of brilliance from the loanee from Al Ahly to make an impact. His attempt at goal smashed into the bar and within a minute, Haboush Saleh’s low-slung attempt fidgeted through to Senghor in the 6-yard box who couldn’t miss from that range.
Though Abou-Treika has clearly stated his intention to return to Al Ahly after his six-month stint is over, he had been committed to raising the prospects of the club to make it to next year’s AFC Champions League. With two goals from six games, compared to three from nine games by the person he replaced – his compatriot Mohamed Zidan, Abou-Treika has undoubtedly helped Baniyas climb up the table to the third position in the UAE Pro League along with raising the attendance levels from a minimalist perspective.
With the final two nail-biting fixtures against Sheikh Mansour’s Al Jazira and Dubai based Al Wasl coming up, only time will tell if Abou-Treika can close his chapter on his UAE experience on a positive note.
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