Al Wahda have benefited immensely by splashing the cash on former Arsenal midfielder Denilson, as the Brazilian helped the club win their first major trophy in four years.
Al Wahda lifted the Arabian Gulf Cup by getting a 1-0 victory over Al Shabab. Previously, Al Wahda had gone four years without winning a major honour and this was a main factor in the club signing Denilson from the Brazilian league. Many were sceptical about the defensive midfielder improving the team, but it was Denilson who opened the scoring after just 16 seconds.
Al Wahda managed to retain their composure after making this flying start. They never allowed the opposition to get back into the game and held on for a clean sheet win. Even though the team was reduced to 10 men in the second half after the red card to Valdivia, the club remained composed and held on for a famous win. Wahda coach Javier Aguirre admitted that it was an extremely tough match for his team, but he is happy that they came out successful on top even with 10 men. He reminded supporters that the final about winning and does not care about the performance.
The club are now hoping to qualify for the Asian Champions League by finishing at least third in the league.“When you play in a final, you want to win some way or the other. The players rose to that occasion. That [red card] was a big blow and we had to react quickly during that period to control the emotions and preserve our lead. It happened at a critical time whith a minute left before half time.It was a tough, tough game, particularly when we had to play a full second half with 10 players,” said the coach of the Al Wahda.