Khorfakkan stun Sharjah for first win of season - GulfToday

Khorfakkan stun Sharjah for first win of season


Players of Khorfakkan and Sharjah in action during their Arabian Gulf League match on Wednesday.

Khorfakkan recorded the first win of the season as they defeated Sharjah 2-1, at Khaled Bin Mohamed Stadium in matchweek 14 of the Arabian Gulf League on Wednesday.

It just took the King 12 minutes to open the scoreline, when Otabek Shukurov cut on his right and smashed the ball into bottom corner to snatch an early lead for Sharjah.

Khorfakkan responded in the final moments of the first half through Bruno Lamas, whose left footed freekick effort missed the target by a narrow margin.

In the second half, the Eagles carried on from where they left as they scored the equaliser just nine minutes after the restart. Ramon Lopes low cross was met by Fahad Hadeed, who converted into the back of the net with a brilliant first time strike.

Khorfakkan turned things around in the 78th minute, when super sub Antonio Junior scored just five minutes after coming on. Lopes sent a low cross towards the Brazilian, who slotted the ball from a close range.

Following the critical victory, Khorfakkan remain in the last spot with seven points ahead of their away clash against Hatta.

Sharjah suffered their third consecutive defeat to drop to the third spot with 24 points and will host Kalba in matchweek 15 of the Arabian Gulf League.

Shabab Al Ahli extended the gap on top of the league table to eight points following a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Hatta.

They Dubai rode on a 30th minute strike from Federico Cartabia to scrape their way through to a narrow win over Hatta and keep their leadership with 35 points.

Sharjah, Al Nasr and Al Ain are tied with 24 points followed by Al Wahda and Al Dhafrah with an identical 23 points. Meanwhile, Head coach Pedro Emanuel said Al Ain were worthy winners over FC Bunyodkor as the UAE Pro League side advanced to the 2020 AFC Champions League group stage on Tuesday. Despite Saeed Juma’s second-half strike ultimately deciding the tie, Al Ain dominated against the Uzbekistan club at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.

The Portuguese, who took charge earlier this month, said Al Ain were the better side against the five-time Uzbekistan league champions.

“We had a great performance as the players were fully concentrated on their task,” said Emanuel.

“We tried our best to score in the first half but failed to convert the chances that we created,” he added. “We went into the second period with big determination not to concede and at the same time, score.” Victory means Al Ain will play in Group D of the 2020 AFC Champions League alongside Islamic Republic of Iran’s Sepahan FC, Al Sadd of Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr and the 44-year-old Emanuel said he was counting on the fans to power the team on.

“It is important that we won tonight and I hope that we can see many fans supporting us in the competition.”

Scorer Juma also praised the fans for playing an important role in Tuesday’s win.

“We appreciate our fans who deserved this victory,” he said. “They supported us throughout the match and we are happy that we managed to achieve such an important victory.

“Winning against Bunyodkor and advancing to the group stage of the competition is our first step on this long road and hopefully the end of our journey will be bright,” he added.

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