Sharjah crowned champions; Dibba and Emirates relegated - GulfToday

Sharjah crowned champions; Dibba and Emirates relegated


Players of Sharjah Club celebrate with the trophy after winning their Arabian Gulf League match against Emirates Club on Saturday.

Sharjah completed their coronation as 2018-19 Arabian Gulf League champions with a 2-1 victory at Emirates club in Ras Al Khaimah on Saturday.

Welliton opened the scoring for the King in the 36th minute. Emirates Club equalised when Cheick Diabate converted from the spot to level the scoreline just before the halftime whistle.

Omar Juma netted the winner for Sharjah in the 68th minute forcing the Falcons to drop to the First Division League.

Abdulaziz Al Anbari’s side had sealed the title in the penultimate round, but the win over Emirates meant they concluded the campaign with 17 wins and eight draws from 26 matches.

They tasted defeat only once, arriving in the 23rd round. The league success was Sharjah’s sixth overall, but first in 23 years.

Their victory on Sunday consigned Emirates to relegation.

Earlier, Fujairah guaranteed their Arabian Gulf League status after earning a valuable 3-1 win over Shabab Al Ahli.

After conceding a goal from Mauro Diaz on the quarter-hour mark, Fujairah made a strong comeback to get the full points.

Mohamed Benyettou leveled the scoreline in the 39th minute.

Fernando Gabriel gave the guests the lead after converting from the spot around the one-hour mark and Samuel Rosa sealed the victory with a third goal in injury time.

Fujairah escaped relegation as they finished in 12th place on 21 points. Shabab Al Ahli, who had already sealed a second-placed finish, were frozen on 53 points.

Meanwhile, Dibba have been relegated to the second-tier.

Dibba failed to survive relegation after playing out a dramatic 3-3 draw with Bani Yas.

Ahmed Shehda netted twice for the Sky Blues in the sixth and 43rd minutes. The Sailors looked more dangerous in the second half as they scored three goals, with Diogo Acosta netting a brace in the 53rd and 79th minutes and Ahmed Haboosh gave his side the lead in the 83rd minute.

The guests, however, refused to give up; Robson de Paula scored the equalizer in injury time as Dibba were forced to share the spoils.

Emirates Club finished off in 13th place on 18 points, while Dibba’s draw kept them rock bottom on 17 points.

Meanwhile, Bani Yas finished in sixth place on 40 points, while Sharjah raised their tally to 59 points on top of the standings.

Recently Anbari was named Best Coach at Arabian Gulf League awards ceremony, after he oversaw a shock end of the King’s 23-year top-flight title drought.

In the process, he became the first Emirati to claim the gong.

Brazilian playmaker Igor Coronado’s 17 goals and nine assists was rewarded with the Best Foreign Player trophy at the glittering ceremony, while Adel Al Hosani took home the Best Goalkeeper prize.

Meanwhile, Sharjah Club’s talisman Coronado has called on his team-mates to raise their game to be better equipped for the new season.

The 26-year-old attacking midfielder from Brazil has immediately set his sights on the task at hand for next season.

“But first we need to take our time and enjoy this moment,” Coronado said.

 “We have all worked hard as a team and now is the time to get the rest and recover physically and mentally before the start of the new season. Among the new thing for us as UAE champions will be the AFC Champions League.

“That is going to be a big step for me and the team. But this is exactly what I came for here. But for now, we need to get rest and then start preparing physically and mentally to give our best one more year.”


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