Sharjah FC were crowned UAE President Cup winners for the 9th time on Friday, defeating Al Wahda FC 1-0 in the final at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.
The final took place having been postponed from last season. The match gained a lot of public and media attention, with 20,000 fans in attendance.
The game was streamed live on FIFA+, in several cinema halls across the UAE, and it was also broadcast on two separate Brazilian TV channels, eager to watch the 8 Brazilian players on show.
The only goal of the game was a worthy winner. Former Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund striker Paco Alcácer’s stunning free kick from around 25 yards out came just after the half-time break.
𝘍𝘳𝘦𝘦 𝘒𝘪𝘤𝘬 🚀 pic.twitter.com/gMJTzuprAX
— Paco Alcácer (@paco93alcacer) October 21, 2022
Both teams had sufficient chances to convert in the first half, but neither took advantage of the openings.
Sharjah made an important change at half-time, taking off former Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who was not 100% fit heading into the game. He was replaced by Ousmane Camara, who added a different dimension to the Sharjah attack.
After going a goal down, Al Wahda were forced to bring on veteran striker Sebastian Tagliabue, who had chances. But some great defending from Sharjah kept Al Wahda at bay.
Sharjah forward Caio had an impressive game, demonstrating his skill in dribbling, carrying the ball forward with vigour. He was rightly crowned man of the match.
New signing Allan had a strong game for Al Wahda, controlling the midfield with his usual commanding presence.
The trophy is the first President Cup for Sharjah manager Cosmin Olaroiu, who lost in the final on two previous occasions in during his last stint in the UAE Pro League. Meanwhile, Al Wahda manager Manuel Jimenez continues his wait for his first piece of silverware.