Shabab Al Ahli and Al Jazira post wins on AGL opening day - GulfToday

Shabab Al Ahli and Al Jazira post wins on AGL opening day

Shabab Al Ahli and Al Jazira  post wins on AGL opening day

Players of Al Jazira nd Al Dhafra vie for the ball during their AGL first round match.

Al Jazira kicked off the 2019/20 Arabian Gulf League (AGL) season with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Al Dhafra at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium on Thursday.

Al Jazira started the game in an electrifying fashion, creating problems for Al Dhafra’s defense since the early minutes of the game.

Only seven minutes into the game, Mourad Batna went up the right flank and released Keno. The Brazilian cut inside and sent a curler that hit the post to reach Ali Mabkhout. The latter, however, failed to score from the rebound.

Mabkhout was once again the centre of action, as his 16th-minute clever freekick strike from the edge of the box went just wide over the crossbar.

The hosts continued to pile on the pressured they eventually managed to break the deadlock three minutes before the halftime whistle. Mohamed Al Attas converted Abdalla Ramadan’s crossed freekick into the back of Khaled Al Senaani’s net with a powerful header to give his side a 1-0 lead ahead of the break.

The Pride of Abu Dhabi started the second half in similar fashion to the first, as they looked focused on doubling their lead.

Twelve minutes after the restart, Keno dribbled past Al Dhafra’s backline skillfully, however, his left-footed effort from a tight angle cannoned off the right post.

To rub salt into the wound, Al Dhafra were reduced to 10 men in the 66th minute after Sultan Al Suwaidi was shown a second yellow card for his challenge against Keno.

Keno’s efforts throughout the game paid off, as he doubled the hosts’ lead in the third minute of injury time. The Brazilian forward finished Mabkhout’s short pass with a perfectly-executed first time curler that nestled into the back of Al Senaani’s net.

Al Jazira now sit second on three points ahead of their anticipated encounter against Al Wahda next week. Meanwhile, Al Dhafra are13th on zero points and will face Bani Yas in matchweek 2.

Meanwhile, Shabab Al Ahli cruised to an easy 3-0 win over Hatta at Hamdan Bin Rashid Stadium.

The last season’s runners up needed only four minutes to open their scoring account in the new campaign. After a blunder inside the box, the ball fell to veteran defender Yousif Jaber who tapped home to net the first goal of the season.

Brazilian defender Cleylton Santos caused some problems to Shabab Al Ahli’s defensive line. He came close to netting the equalizer in the 24th minute but his header went wide. Only six minutes later, Shabab Al Ahli keeper Majed Naser pulled off a good save to deny the Brazilian again.

Hatta’s most dangerous chance came 10 minutes before the break. A perfect through pass from Santos found Adnan Hussain, leaving him in a one-on-one situation with the keeper. However, the 33-year-old’s effort went wide.

Only 10 minutes after the restart, Shabab Al Ahli went 2-0 up, thanks to individual effort from Mohamed Juma. The 22-year-old, who already have three goals to his name in the Arabian Gulf Cup, fired a powerful strike from the edge of the box into the back of the net to open his scoring account in the league competition.

Following the second goal, Hatta pushed forward hoping to reduce the deficit. However, Naser looked keen on keeping a clean sheet as he denied Cristian López first-time effort in the 67th minute.

Only six minutes later, Leonardo da Souza, who joined Shabab Al Ahli from Al Wahda in the summer, netted his first goal with his new team. The 27-year-old collected the ball outside the box and beat his marker before before sending a powerful effort into the back of helpless Hatta keeper Zayed Al Hammadi.

The guests came close to adding a fourth goal in the dying moments of the game but Henrique Luvannor’s effort off Leonardo da Souza’s through pass missed the target.

Shabab Al Ahli collected their first three points to move temporarily to the top of the table, while Hatta sit at rock bottom.cured or error-free.