El-Jaish vs Al-Nahda
Date: Tuesday February 10, 2015.
Timing: 19:00 Local time (GMT+3)
Venue: Thani Bin Jassim Stadium. Doha, Qatar
Another David vs Goliath match where Al-Nahda travel to Qatar facing the impossible task of defeating a much wealthier club when they haven’t been able to register a single win in their last 10 games in the mediocre Omani League.
Established in 2011, El-Jaish (Literally the Army) is the youngest club on the Qatari football scene, owned by the Qatari armed forces. It initially played in the Qatar Gas League, the second tier of Qatari League but gained promotion after just one season benefiting from their vast resources and have since finished in the top 4 but are yet to win the Qatar Stars League.
El-Jaish used three different managers as they failed to win the league once again finishing second, five points behind champions Lekhwiya.
Three matches into the second leg, El-Jaish find themselves a whole 11 points behind leaders Lekhwiya and nine behind second placed Al-Sadd.
Forrmer Monaco and Parma French international midfielder Sabri Lamouchi joined El-Jaish less than 3 months ago following an unsuccessful stint in charge of Cote D’Ivoire which culminated in a group stage world cup exit.
Romarinho: El-Jaish boast a number of Qatari internationals including Mohammed Muntari & veteran Wessam Rezq, but their main goalscoring threat comes in the form of diminutive Brazilian forward Romarinho. Far from prolific in his two seasons with Corinthians with an average of just above 0.10 goals per game. But since sealing a $10 million move to Qatar, he exploded and his tally of 6 league goals in 10 games an encouraging sign for El-Jaish. He will need to take that form into the match if El-Jaish are to establish themselves as a proper Champions League team.
Al-Nahda was formed in 2003 after the merging of two clubs, Al-Buraimi & Mahda from Al-Buraimi area just off the Oman-UAE border. Their stadium is located less than 15 kilometres away from Al-Ain’s stadium in the UAE. In their short history, Al-Nahda have won 3 Omani League titles.
Al-Nahda were crowned champions 5 points clear of their nearest challengers, Fanja. Largely thanks to an unreal attacking force than netted 57 goals (13 more than the next strongest attack).
Al-Nahda underwent an enormous fall from grace and now sit bottom of the league, with an embarrassingly low tally of 4 points from 12 games, partly due to a 6 points deduction as a penalty for missing a league match and partly due to a massive exodus that saw 11 first team players snapped by other teams. Goals have not dried down for Al-Nahda who scored 17 goals so far, the same amount as table topping Al-Oruba. However, the main difference was their defence which has let in 21 goals.
Last season’s title winning manager Hamad Al-Azzani was sacked and replace with his assistant Mohsen Darwich. The local hero is facing an impossible mission to keep his boyhood club in the top tier having previously led them to multiple league titles.
Ould Al-Fulani: Al-Nahda added more firepower to their ranks signing Mauritanian international Ould Al-Fulani. Top goalscorer of the little known Mauritanian league. An intriguing signing by all means, but Al-Nahda have a history of unravelling hidden to gems at low costs.