Al Jazira and Khorfakkan players in action during their Arabian Gulf Cup match on Thursday.
Al Jazira earned their first three points at the Arabian Gulf Cup 2019/20 season after beating Khorfakkan 3-1 at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium in their first Group A match on Thursday.
Faisal Al Matroushi opened the scoring for the hosts just before the quarter-hour mark to net the first goal of the 2019/20 Arabian Gulf Cup season.
Khalfan Mubarak’s through pass found the 20-year-old on the edge of the back who bursted into the area before slotting into left side of the net.
After a number of failed attempts for Khor Fakkan, new signing Pedro Junior leveled things up seven minutes before halftime.
The Al Jazira defense attempted to clear the ball off a corner kick but it fell to the veteran Brazilian forward who sent the ball into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-1.
Just after the one-hour mark, Al Jazira made a double substitution as goalscorer Matroushi and Zaid Amery made way for Badr Al Shabibi and Mourad Batna.
Few minutes after coming on, Batna, who represented Al Wahda last season, went close to opening his scoring account with the Pride of Abu Dhabi.
A curling effort by the Moroccan forward from the edge of the box went few inches wide.
Only four minutes later, the Pride of Abu Dhabi regained their lead and went up 2-1 on the counter-attack.
Abdalla Ramadan eased a long pass forward to substitute Shabibi who passed to Mubarak inside the box and the later slotted home to get his name on the scoresheet.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi netted a third goal with nine minute to go to put the win beyond any doubt. Mubarak assisted his second of the night as he sent a low cross to Sultan Al Ghaferi and the latter sent a shot from the edge of the box into the back of the net.
The action in Group A continues on Friday, when Shabab Al Ahli face Al Ain and Al Nasr clash with Ittihad Kalba.
Meanwhile, Ajman settled for a 0-0 draw against newly promoted Hatta in their first Group B match at the Arabian Gulf Cup at Rashid Bin Saeed Stadium on Thursday night.
Ahead of the game, Ajman coach said they’ll be looking to reach the knockout stage after they failed to qualify from the group stage last season. On the other hand, Hatta, who are newly promoted to the top-tier, acknowledged the difficulty of the game but assured their readiness for the competition.
The game got off to a quiet start, with the most of the play confined to the midfield region.
Hatta had the upper hand in the early minutes of the game in regards to possession, but they failed to threaten Ajman’s goal.
The first chance for Ajman fell to Vander Verreria in the 25th minute when he penetrated Hatta’s defense but failed to make further impact.
Both sides failed to bring much in the way of goalscoring chances as the first half ended in a goalless draw.
Just few minutes after the hour-mark, Hatta had a dangerous chance that could have been the opening goal. However, Ali Al Hosani diverted Hamad Al Badwawi’s effort into a corner kick to keep the game goalless.
No significant chances were created in the remaining minutes of the game as both teams seemed to be okay with a draw in their opening match.
Ajman and Hatta temporarily top Group B on one point each. Later, Bani Yas clash with Sharjah in an important Group B game, while Al Wahda face Fujairah on Friday to conclude the matchweek 1 action.
Meanwhile, The UAE Pro League has confirmed that the 2019-20 season curtain-raising Arabian Gulf Super Cup match between reiging Arabian Gulf League champions, Sharjah, and President Cup winners, Shabab Al Ahli, will kick-off at 20:30 on Sept.14 at Al Nasr Club’s Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
Both Shabab Al Ahli and Sharjah did try to break the deadlock but the former were more aggressive as they created more chances in the first-half.
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