Dubai: Neighbors in Abu Dhabi had a week to remember, while Al Jazira and Al Wahda took full points in the sixth round of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) at the weekend.
Al Jazira returned to the capital after a 5-3 victory over Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, and Al Wahda scored a 3-0 home result against Ajman of 10 men on Saturday.
Al Wahda scored two quick goals when Yahya Al Ghassani opened the scoring in the 22nd minute before doubling Gianluca Muniz’s lead three minutes later.
Ajman defender Darlington Emmanuel was sent off four minutes from half-time, while VAR showed he had brought down Al Wahda’s Tim Matavz.
Finally, the home side made the matter safe when Mohammad Barqesh received the ball from Tahnoon Al Zaabi and knocked it home in the 79th minute to see the Clarets climb on goal difference in second place.
It was the battle between two top teams that took center stage when the visiting Al Jazira started in the seventh minute, while Imoh Ezekiel crossed between Majid Nasser’s legs for a 1-0 lead.
Abu Dhabi’s pride doubled their lead just five minutes later when Khalfan Mubarak’s defensive pass Ali Mabkhout set out to overtake Nasser in the Shabab goal.
The home side narrowed the gap four minutes later when Abdul Aziz Haikal was on the path of Igor Jesus inside the goal area, allowing the Brazilian to beat his markers and send the ball into the back of the net.
Abdullah Ramadan restored the cushion for Al Jazira with two goals when he shot home from the edge of the box in the 37th minute to take a 3-1 lead.
AGL STANDINGS 1. Sharjah 18 points 2. Al Wahda 13 3. Al Nasr 13 4. Al Jazira 11 5. Al Ain 11 6. Bani Yas 10 7. Al Dhafra 10 8. Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 9 9. Kalba 9 10. Al Wasl 6 11. Fujairah 4 12. Ajman 2 13. Khor Fakkan 1 14. Hatta 1
Jesus got his second time of the night ten minutes into the second half after a solo run that saw him drip past Al Jazira defenders and hit Khasief with a deft placement. But the home side did not have time to celebrate as substitute Oumar Traore crossed the ball to Mabkhout and shot the UAE goal scorer in an incredible first touch to make it 4-2.
Ahmad Khalil appointed as a substitute and conceded the third for Shabab after a one-two with Jesus. The hosts then missed a few chances with Ahmad Al Attas’ attempt to cross first in the 72nd minute and then a few minutes later the first time he hit the woodwork.
Al Jazira then put the victory beyond any doubt two minutes before the time when Traore controlled a long ball, hit his markers and shot into the back of the net. The victory raised Al Jazira to 11 points and climbed to fourth place, while Shabab dropped to eighth place by nine points.
Defending champion Sharjah remains the points leader with a maximum of 18 points after six games, while Al Wahda is in second place with 13 points, followed by Al Nasr in third place on the goal difference. Al Jazira and Al Ain are tied with 11 points in fourth and fifth place, while Bani Yas and Al Dhafra take the next two places with 10 points each.
Al Wahda 3 Ajman 0
Al Dhafra 2 Khor Fakkan apply 0
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 3 Al Jazira 5
1. Sharjah 18 points
Al Wahda 13
Al Nasr 13
Al Jazira 11
5. Al Ain 11
Bani Yas 10
Al Dhafra 10
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 9
9. Kalba 9
10. Al Wasl 6
12. Ajman 2
13. Khor Fakkan 1
14. Hatta 1
Source: Gulf News