Al Wahda and Al Jazira players in action during their Arabian Gulf Cup match on Friday.
Carlitos’ second-half goal gave Al Wahda an important 1-0 victory against Ajman, at Rashid Bin Saeed Stadium in matchweek 5 of the Arabian Gulf Cup Group B.
After a slow start, Al Wahda managed to threaten Ajman’s goalkeeper in the 30th minute when Carlitos unleashed a powerful strike that was brilliantly parried away by Ali Al Hosani behind for a corner kick.
Four minutes ahead of the break, the Oranges responded as Vander Vieira’s corner kick was poorly knuckled away by Rashed Ali to find Hussain Abdulrahman, whose first time low volley was denied by Ali followed by a clearance from Al Wahda’s defenders.
The Clarets started the second half in an electrifying fashion, as they broke the deadlock just three minutes after the restart. Sebastian Tagliabue released Carlitos behind Ajman’s backline. The Spaniard smashed the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
In the 66th minute, Al Hussain Saleh sent a left footed cross inside the box that was met with a clever header by Tagliabue, however, his effort missed the target by a narrow margin.
Ajman wasted a glorious chance to make things level in the 84th minute, when Vieira found Abdullah Ali inside the box with a defence-splitting pass, however, the number 14’s left footed strike went inches wide off Ali’s left post.
After the victory, Al Wahda occupy group A’s top spot with 10 points and will face Al Wasl in the next fixture.
Meanwhile, Youssef Al Zaabi’s freak own goal consigned Kalba to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Shabab Al Ahli at Kalba Union Sports and Cultural Club Stadium.
Kalba started on the front foot as they nearly took the lead just eight minutes into the game, when Dawood Al Bloushi sent an out-swinging cross from the corner kick towards Henrique Buss, whose header went just wide over the bar.
The Tigers kept pressing forward and in the 34th minute, Ibrahim Sarhan received the ball after a miscued pass from Saud Saif. The number 99 advanced forward, but his right footed rocket was difficultly blocked by Hassan Hamza.
In the second half, Shabab Al Ahli tried to press high up the pitch in order to penetrate Ajman’s defence and break the deadlock.
Around the 77th minute, Ahmed Jamil dribbled past Dawood Ali before sending an accurate ground cross towards Ahmed Al Hashmi, who failed to find the back of the net from a close range.
Nine minutes before the fulltime whistle, the visitors took the lead through an own goal from Al Zaabi. The goalkeeper failed to handle Luvannor Henrique’s volleyed cross, sending it into his own net for the night’s only goal.
After the victory, Shabab Al Ahli top group A with 10 points and will face Khorfakkan in the next fixture. Meanwhile, Kalba sit rock bottom at group A with just one point ahead of their away encounter against Al Ain in matchweek 6 of the Arabian Gulf Cup.
Earlier, Al Nasr and Al Jazira shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw at Al Maktoum Stadium on Friday.
The first half got off at a slow pace as the bulk of the gameplay was in the midfield and both teams failed to create any real threats on either goal with Al Nasr maintaining the majority of possession until the referee blew the halftime whistle.
The first real threat came in the 53rd minute, when Toze sent a cross from the corner kick that was cleared by Al Jazira’s defence to find Alvaro Negredo whose left footed first time volley was saved by Adel Abu Baker.
The Blues tried their luck once again in the 67th minute, when Negredo set up a crossed ball to Toze, whose powerful strike missed the target by a narrow margin.
Three minutes before fulltime, the Pride of Abu Dhabi responded through Ahmed Mahmoud. The midfielder’s late effort was denied by Ibrahim Al Balooshi, to end the game as a goalless draw.
After the draw, Al Nasr occupy the fourth spot with five points, meanwhile, Al Jazira sit fifth with four points. Al Nasr will not feature in the next matchweek, however, Al Jazira will face Al Dhafra in matchweek 6 of the Arabian Gulf Cup.
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Skipper Alvaro Negredo and Toze scored a goal each as a clinical Al Nasr defeated defending champions Shabab Al Ahli 2-1 to lift the Arabian Gulf Cup on Friday.
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