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November 20, 2015

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Elkeson set to put injury woes behind

SUCCESS has come easy to Luiz Felipe Scolari since taking charge of Asian Champions League finalist Guangzhou Evergrande in June, and while fellow Brazilian Elkeson has been a frustrated observer due to injury he is keen to make up for lost time.

Former Brazil coach Scolari has gone 22 games unbeaten as Guangzhou landed a fifth consecutive domestic title last month and it will host Emiratis al-Ahli tomorrow in the second leg of the ACL final after a goalless draw in Dubai.

Striker Elkeson, a key figure since joining from Botafogo in 2013, has endured an injury-plagued campaign and is disappointed not to have contributed in Scolari’s reign, which begun after Italian Fabio Cannavaro was sacked.

“Unfortunately, this has been a hard year and I have been off the field for a lot (of) time,” Elkeson, who has notched over 70 goals in a trophy-laden spell in Asia, said yesterday.

“For a player to be sidelined like that is very difficult.”

In his absence, compatriot Ricardo Goulart has taken the spotlight and is the top scorer with eight goals in the ACL.

However, the 26-year-old Elkeson, who started the first leg in Dubai, is keen to make a contribution tomorrow at a sold-out Tianhe Stadium.

“I am returning to the AFC Champions League final again and I wish to contribute and help my companions with my experience. I hope to help the team in the final like I did in 2013, and if possible, with the help of all the players, to score a goal again.”


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