Olaroiu hopes Lima can inspire Al Ahli

Al Ahli coach Cosmin Olaroiu hopes that new signing Rodrigo Lima can inspire his side to Asian Champions League success, ahead of the Dubai club's last eight match against Naft Tehran later this month.

Al Ahli booked their place in the quarter-finals of the continental tournament following a thrilling 3-3 second leg draw at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium against domestic rivals Al Ain.

Olaroiu's charges faced Naft in the group stage of this year's competition, winning at home before drawing the away tie, but the Al Ahli boss refused to underestimate the Iranian side.

"They are difficult opponents," is quoted as saying on the club's official website by The National"Iranian football in general is getting better and their clubs are some of the continent's best.

It will be tough for both teams. At the moment, this is our priority and later, if we progress, we can start planning for the semi-final. It is natural to enter every competition thinking of the title but we also have to be realistic.

"Our team was not expected to reach this stage of the competition, but now we are one of the challengers so of course it is not impossible to win it. First, we have to regain our fitness, then look to that match and beyond."

In an attempt to boost their attacking threat, Brazilian forward Lime was signed from Portuguese giants Benfica, and after he netted thrice during two pre-season matches, Olaroiu is waxing lyrical over the 32-year-old.

"Last season, we suffered when Ahmed Khalil wasn't scoring," Olaroiu continued.

"When he returned and was scoring freely, it was near the end of the season. We shouldn't forget his decisive goals in the Champions League.

"Now, with Lima's addition, our attacking threat will increase because he has the character and experience to improve the team in general as well as increasing the number of goals. However, scoring is not one player's responsibility, but the whole team's."

The first leg kicks off on August 26 at Naft's Azadi Stadium, before the second leg takes place at the Rashid Stadium on September 16.

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