Sharjah on top with victory over Kalba; Al Dhafra hold Bani Yas - GulfToday

Sharjah on top with victory over Kalba; Al Dhafra hold Bani Yas

Sharjah on top with victory over Kalba; Al Dhafra hold Bani Yas

Sharjah and Ittihad Kalba players vie for the ball during their Arabian Gulf League matchweek two game at the Ittihad Kalba Club Stadium on Thursday.

Sharjah earned their second straight win in the 2019/20 Arabian Gulf League season as they beat Ittihad Kalba 3-1 away in matchweek 2 on Thursday.

Kalba entered the game on the back of a late 3-2 defeat to Al Ain in the opening matchweek, while defending champions Sharjah had defeated Khor Fakkan in the first game of the season.

The King looked more dangerous in the opening stages of the game with Ricardo Gomes trying this luck in the second minute but his effort went wide.

Three minutes later, Omar Juma had another chance to open the scoring but was denied by Jamal Abdullah.

After an impressive individual work from Igor Coronado, Ricardo Gomes broke the deadlock in the 17th minute. The Brazilian forward made a fantastic run on the right flank before crossing the ball inside the box to Gomes who tapped home to put the guests 1-0 up.

The home side pushed forward in hopes of netting an equalizer and they eventually got it as Peniel Mlapa leveled the scoreline on the half-hour mark. After Balázs Dzsudzsák’s long-range shot was saved by keeper Ahmed Mahmoud, the Togolese forward followed up the rebound and slotted into the back of the net. This marked the 28-year-old’s third goal of the season.

Only four minutes before the break, Igor Coronado turned from provider to scorer as he regained Sharjah’s lead and put them 2-1 up before the halftime.

The Brazilian forward opened his scoring account with the King in the new season as he brilliantly converted a free-kick past helpless Jamal Abdullah.

With 22 minutes to go, Abdullah Ghanem got his name into the scoresheet to further extend the King’s lead. Following a corner kick, the ball fell to Gomes inside the box who directed it towards Ghanem and the 24-year-old defender headed it into the back of the net to get his side a step closer to the three points

The King temporarily jump to the top of the table on six points, while Kalba drop to 13th place with zero points.

Meanwhile, João Pedro’s opener was cancelled out by Luiz Antonio de Souza’s goal as Al Dhafra and Bani Yas shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Hamdan bin Zayed Stadium in matchweek 2 of the Arabian Gulf Cup.

While Al Dhafra controlled the proceedings in the early stages of the game, they failed to create real chances or pose enough threat on Bani Yas’ goal.

Around the half-hour mark, Suhail Al Nooby missed a chance to open the scoring for Bani Yas as his close range effort hit the side netting.

Only six minutes later, Al Dhafra went 1-0 up, thanks to Joao Pedro’s opener. The Brazilian forward found Abdurahman Yousef’s cross inside the box and headed the ball home.

Bani Yas almost got an instant equalizer but Joao Victor’s effort hit the bar.

Moroccan defender Issam El Adoua ensured that Al Dhafra went into half time with a 1-0 advantage as he cleared the ball to deny a valuable chance for Pedro Conde.  

It was on the one-hour mark, when the Sky Blues got their equalizer. Sultan Al Shamsi crossed the ball back to Luiz Antonio de Souza who sent a powerful effort from outside the box into the back of the net.

Bani Yas keeper Fahad Al-Dhanhani played an important role in securing a point for his side as he diverted Suhail Al Mansoori’s effort into a corner to deny him from netting the winner 10 minutes from time.

This marked Bani Yas’ second draw in a row as they drew 2-2 with Ajman in the opening matchweek, while Al Dhafra got their first point of the season after losing 2-0 to Al Jazira last week.

The Sky Blues now sit sixth on two points, one above 10th-placed Al Dhafra.

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