Shabab Al Ahli pip Al Dhafra as Bani Yas hold Al Ain - GulfToday

Shabab Al Ahli pip Al Dhafra as Bani Yas hold Al Ain


Bani Yas and Al Ain players in action during their AGL match on Thursday.

Shabab Al Ahli defeated Al Dhafra 1-0 in the seventh round match of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Thursday.

This was Shabab Al Ahli’s fifth win in seven games, following a draw and a loss against Al Nasr. In another match, Al Ain were held to a goalless draw by a resurgent Bani Yas. Al Ain are on the third spot with 14 points after four victories, two draws and one loss.

Earlier, Shabab Al Ahli’s Abdullah Al Naqbi’s right-footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner in the very first minute of the game gave his team a vital 1-0 lead. He was assisted by Ismael Al Hammadi. Al Dhafra kept on trying to penetrate Shabab Al Ahli’s tight defence to restore parity but they failed to do so.

Shabab Al Ahli did not stop to go into the defensive mode after taking the lead but kept on attacking to extend the lead and pile more pressure on Al Dhafra.

Five minutes later, Naqbi’s long-range shot from outside the box was block by Al Dhafra goalkeeper. Hammadi also tried to put a Davide Mariani’s pass into the post with a right-footed shot from the left side of the box but it was brilliantly saved once again.

Al Dhafra’s Suhail Al Mansoori spurned the chance to draw level when he failed to convert a Joao Pedro pass into goal. Pedro himself came closed to scoring two minutes later but Shabab Al Ahli goalkeeper Majed Naser  made a fantastic save to defy Al Dhafra.

Shabab Al Ahli failed to capitalize on the corner-kick, conceded by Al Dhafra’s Rashid Muhayer, in the 19th minute.  Shabab Al Ahli’s Yousef Jaber shot from a difficult angle to put a Mariani pass into the net but the ball deflected to the left as the score remained 1-0.

Shabab Al Ahli’s bid to add to their tally and extend lead was thwarted by a resolute Al Dhafra. At the same time, Al Dhafra also failed to level the scores despite all their efforts due to water-tight defence of their opponents.

In their last six head-to-head meetings, Shabab Al Ahli emerged winners five times, including a 5-0 thrashing in November last year.

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