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JEDDAH: Al-Ahli coach Matthias Jaissle has admitted that luck played a part in his team’s 1-0 win over Al-Ittihad on Monday night, and revealed that his club’s fans gave him “goosebumps” with their backing throughout the Saudi Pro League 26th-round fixture, Arriyadiyah has reported.

The win kept Al-Ahli in third place in the SPL and extended their lead over fourth-place Al-Ittihad to five points.

“As we expected, the derby match is not subject to any calculations, but I thank the players for their mentality, and luck helped us win, as Al-Ittihad missed a number of opportunities,” the German coach said in the post-match press conference. “Also, luck was against us in our attempts to score the second goal,” Jaissle told Arriyadiyah on Monday night.

Jaissle had special praise for the fans, which he said could always be counted on in big matches and “gave me goosebumps.”

The coach also singled out the performance of Al-Ahli’s Brazilian captain Roberto Firmino, back to his best after a difficult, injury-plagued period earlier in the season.

“He plays in more than one position and performs well in all of them, and players go through circumstances at times during the season, and this is what Firmino went through, and now he has returned to his known level.”

Firas Al-Buraikan scored the only goal of the match in the 34th minute and Jaissle said: “It feels very good to have a striker who turns chances into goals, and the team in general performed well, and this is what we need in such matches.”

However, the coach also expressed dissatisfaction with his team’s loss of possession in certain passages of play, which he said would be addressed by the coaching staff.

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