Despite draw, Al Ain displace Shabab Al Ahli atop Group A - GulfToday

Despite draw, Al Ain displace Shabab Al Ahli atop Group A


Action in the Arabian Gulf Cup Group A match between Al Ain and Ittihad Kalba at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Saturday.

Al Ain were held by Kalba to a 1-1 draw, at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in matchweek 6 of the Arabian Gulf Cup Group A. Al Ain got off to an electrifying start, when Salem Abdullah went up the left flank and sent an accurate cross towards Jamal Maroof, whose header was denied by Jamal Al Sarrah just 11 minutes into the game.

Abdullah and Maroof combined once again in the 39th minute, as the fullback found the striker inside the box with another crossed ball. Maroof converted with a well-placed header to break the deadlock for the Boss.

The hosts kept pushing forward as they nearly doubled their lead one minute ahead of the break, through a freekick effort by Mohammed Ahmed, however, Al Sarrah pulled off an excellent safe to keep it 1-0.

In the fourth minute of injury time, Balazs Dzsudzsak sent an out-swinging corner kick towards Peniel Mlapa, who controlled the ball and found Majed Rashid with a powerful ground cross. The number 15 was left with a simple tap in from a close range to level things up.

Al Ain tried to regain their lead in the second half as they maintained position but failed to create any real threats on goal, until the 81st minute when Laba Kodjo wasted a glorious chance to make it 2-1 as his his headed effort went wide over the bar.

After the draw, Al Ain top Group A’s table with 11 points and will face Khorfakkan next week. Meanwhile, Kalba sit rock bottom at the group’s table with just two points ahead of their difficult encounter against Al Jazira in matchweek 7 of the Arabian Gulf Cup.

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