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  • Ahmed Saleh

Coach Jaissle expresses shock at Al-Ahli's King's Cup exit

JEDDAHMatthias Jaissle, the German coach of Al-Ahli, expressed his surprise and disappointment at the team's unexpected elimination from the King's Cup, following a 2-1 defeat to Abha in the Round of 16.

During a post-match press conference held in Jeddah, Jaissle shared his thoughts on the match, saying, "It was a challenging game, and I'm truly surprised by the final outcome. Despite our dominance in the first half, we struggled to create enough scoring opportunities. In the second half, even with our opponent receiving a red card, our missed chances were evident."

Jaissle also pointed out defensive lapses that contributed to Abha's goals, noting, "Unfortunately, our overall defensive performance fell short as a team. Abha managed to earn a corner seemingly out of nowhere, and our defensive lapses led to the second goal."

Regarding the team's inability to take advantage of Abha's numerical disadvantage, Jaissle explained, "After the red card incident, our positioning was solid. Ibañez consistently moved forward, and we shifted to a back-three formation, but we couldn't make the most of the situation."

He clarified the tactical decision to position Firmino as the number 10, saying, "Firmino is familiar with this role from previous experience, and we deployed Feras Al-Brikan as the primary striker to expedite the game's conclusion."

Providing an update on Kessie's injury, Jaissle mentioned, "I don't have specific details on Kessie's injury, and I hope it's not a serious one. He is currently receiving the necessary treatment. Our players are under daily monitoring and are prepared for upcoming matches without requiring additional rest."

In response to questions about fan dissatisfaction, particularly the jeers directed towards him and the players, Jaissle concluded by saying, "Hearing jeers is never a positive experience. I hold our fans in high regard and understand their frustration. I appeal to them for continued support and trust until the end."

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