Shabab Al Ahli regain second spot; Al Dhafra hold Al Nasr - GulfToday

Shabab Al Ahli regain second spot; Al Dhafra hold Al Nasr

Ahli

Shabab Al Ahli’s players celebrate after their victory on Wednesday.

Jaime Ayovi’s hat-trick guided Shabab Al Ahli to a massive 5-1 victory against Emirates Club at Emirates Club Stadium in matchweek 22 of the Arabian Gulf League on Wednesday.

The game started with a bang, as Mohamed Jaber broke the deadlock for Shabab Al Ahli just seven minutes into the game.

The number 35 player converted Adeel Mahmood’s in-swinging crossed free-kick into the top corner with a powerful header.

In the 21st minute, Ayovi doubled things up for visitors as he was left with a simple tap in from a close range after Ali Saqr failed to clear Mohamed Sayed’s low cross.

Around the half-hour mark, Mahmood registered his second assist of the night when he found Mohammed Marzooq inside the box with a perfectly weighted corner kick, that the defender finished calmly past Saqr, making it 3-0.

Yaqoob Yusef reduced the deficit for the Falcons just 10 minutes after conceding. Saber Khalifa released the youngster behind Shabab Al Ahli’s backline with a defense-splitting long through pass, Yusef controlled the ball brilliantly and dribbled past Majed Humaid before slotting into the empty net.

The visitors kept pushing forward and in the 44th minute Ayovi doubled his tally. The Ecuadorian’s left-footed strike from the edge of the box nestled into Saqr bottom corner after it got deflected off Saad Souroor.

Ayovi completed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute, marking his 11th league goal of the season. The forward’s clever lobbed shot crept into the back of the net making it 5-1 and sealing an impressive win for his side.

Following the game, Shabab Al Ahli sit second with 44 points and are set to face Al Dhafra in matchweek 23. Meanwhile, Emirates occupy the 12th position with 15 points ahead of their clash against Fujairah on May 3.

Meanwhile, Junior Dutra scored late to hand Al Dhafra a 1-1 draw with Al Nasr at Hamdan bin Zayed Stadium in the opening day of matchweek 22 in the Arabian Gulf League on Wednesday.

The game got off to a quiet start, with the first chance coming in the eighth minute from Al Nasr’s Masoud Soliman but failed to cause real threat.

On the 20-minute mark, Junior Dutra tried his luck but his effort was saved by Al Nasr keeper Zayed Ahmed Alhammadi. Four minutes later, Dutra passed the ball to Tariq Ahmed whose effort went above the bar.

Dutra came close to opening the scoring in the 28th minute but his powerful effort went above the bar.

Ten minutes after the break, the home side opened the scoring through Saeed Salem Alkatheeri. Suhail Salem Almansoori’s effort was initially saved by the keeper before Alkatheeri tapped the rebound to give his side a 1-0 lead.

Junior Dutra netted the equalizer only two minutes from time. Dutra found Ronnie Fernandez’s pass who sent a powerful effort into the back of the net to seal his side a valuable point.

Al Dhafra now sit eighth on 28 points, one above Al Nasr who sit ninth place.

Meanwhile, the UAE Pro League will crown stars of the 2018-19 season in the annual Arabian Gulf League Awards Ceremony, taking place on May 17 at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam Hotel in Dubai.

The ceremony will see awards handed to winners in several categories based on statistics and others based on voting.

This year’s ceremony is the seventh edition of the glamorous event, first launched at the end of the 2012-13 season. Over the past six years, the awards ceremony saw stars being honoured alongside sponsors, partners and media institutions.

The selection mechanism and the nominees’ lists will be announced over the next few days.