Bani Yas stun Al Ain; Al Wasl dent Al Jazira hopes of 2nd place finish - GulfToday

Bani Yas stun Al Ain; Al Wasl dent Al Jazira hopes of 2nd place finish

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Players of Bani Yas and Al Ain in action during their Arabian Gulf League match on Saturday.

Al Ain extended their winless run to four games as they fell to a shocking 2-0 defeat against Bani Yas at Bani Yas Stadium in matchweek 22 of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Saturday.

The game got off to a slow start, as the first real threat came in the 20th minute when Leroy George sent a well-placed cross towards Pedro Conde.

The Spaniard’s header, however, was cleared off the goal line by Saeed Al Menhali.

The Boss needed 34 minutes to pose threat on their opponents through Mohamed Khalfan who dribbled skillfully past Robson De Paula, but his left-footed strike was parried away by Fahad Al Dhanhani into a corner kick.

Al Ain wasted another glorious chance to break the deadlock in the dying moments of the first half, as they were awarded a penalty kick after Suhail Al Noobi scuffled with Khalfan inside the box.

Marcus Berg failed to send the ball home from the spot as he skied it over the bar.

The second half started with a bang, as Bani Yas managed to open the scoring just four minutes after the restart.

Michael Ortega finished Conde’s low cross into the top left corner with an acrobatic back-flip strike.  

Conde turned from producer to scorer when he doubled the Sky Blues’ lead in the 65th minute. The number 11 forward was left with a simple tap in after Mohamed Bu Sanda failed to save Fawaz Al Mesabi’s initial shot.

Following the victory, Bani Yas remain sixth with 36 points ahead of their encounter against Al Nasr next week.

Meanwhile, Al Ain sit fourth with 39 points before hosting Ittihad Kalba in the next round. Bani Yas only lost once at home this season when they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Sharjah in matchweek 20.

In another match, Al Wasl returned to winning ways as they defeated Al Jazira 3-1 at Zabeel Stadium in Dubai.

Al Wasl had the upper hand in the early stages of the game, with Ali Saleh’s 9th-minute effort being saved by the Al Jazira keeper Ali Khaseif.

Ronaldo Mendes opened the scoring only one minute before the half-hour mark. A defensive blunder left the Brazilian midfielder in a one-on-one situation with the Al Jazira keeper before dribbling past him and tapping the ball into the empty net.  

Four minutes before the break, Leonardo Pereira leveled things up for the Pride of Abu Dhabi. Ernest Asante made a run on the right flank before crossing the ball back to the Brazilian midfielder on the edge of the box and the latter slotted home.

Mendes had a chance to regain his side’s lead before the break but his effort during injury time went wide.

The Cheetahs started the second half in a strong manner and regained their lead in the 57th minute through George Dwubeng.

Mendes turned from scorer to provider as his corner-kick was headed into the back of the net by Dwubeng to make it 2-1 for the home side.

With 26 minutes to go, Fabio De Lima further extended the hosts lead.  The Brazilian midfielder found Mendes’ defense-splitting pass on the edge of the box and sent the ball past Khaseif to make it 3-1.

The Pride of Abu Dhabi came close to reducing the deficit in the dying minutes of the game but Humaid Abdulla pulled of a good save to deny Pereira and hand his side a 3-1 win.

After ending their three game-winless run, Al Wasl now sit 10th on 27 points. Meanwhile, Al Jazira remain third on 41 points.

Despite second draw in a row, Sharjah remain on top of the league table with 52 points, eight points clear of second-placed Shabab Al Ahli.

The King are set to host Dibba in the next round of the league.

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