Players of Shabab Al Ahli and Al Nasr in action during their Arabian Gulf League match on Friday.
Alvaro Negredo scored at the death as Al Nasr held Shabab Al Ahli to a 2-2 draw, at Rashid Stadium in matchweek 18 of the Arabian Gulf League on Friday.
After a slow start, Shabab Al Ahli took the lead in the 24th minute through Ahmed Khalil, who smashed the ball into the bottom corner following a clever one-two play with Luvannor Henrique.
Around the half-hour mark, Henrique and Khalil combined once again as the veteran striker completed his brace. Henrique went up the right side and sent a low cross that was finished by Khalil from a close range.
Al Nasr responded in the 39th minute through Mohammed Al Akbari, who got at the end of Habib Al Fardan’s cross, however, Majed Nasser pulled off an excellent save to deny Al Akbari’s effort.
Just five minutes into the second half, Alvaro Negredo pulled one back for the Blues when he slotted Brandley Kuwas’ accurate ground cross past Nasser, to make it 2-1.
Al Nasr kept their momentum and in the 76th minute, Toze tried his luck from a freekick near the edge of the box, but his strike was denied by the woodwork.
Seconds before the fulltime whistle, Toze released Ahmed Al Hashmi up the left flank. The sub squared it towards Negredo who was left with a simple tap in from a close range to score a late equaliser.
“Every match is like a fresh lesson that we need to learn from each week,” Shabab Al Ahli Dubai coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena said in a post match press conference.
“We are aware that the difference between us and Al Ain is just three points now. But that’s the least of my worry as there are other teams that have an equally good chance to go all out for the title,” Arruabarrena added.
“We’ve got to re-visit our basics and learn how we can stop teams from denying us good results after taking the lead. All the players are aware of this situation and I am sure they will adapt well during our next match,” the Argentinean coach hoped.
Following the entertaining draw, Shabab Al Ahli remain on top of the league table with 40 point ahead of their away trip to Ajman. While, Al Nasr sit seventh with 28 points before facing inform Khorfakkan in matchweek 19 of the Arabian Gulf League.
Despite the draw, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai continue at the top with 40 points, followed by Al Ain with 37 points and Al Jazira just a point away in third.
Al Wahda are on fourth with 32 points, the same tally as defending champions Sharjah. Al Dhafra are in sixth with 29 points and Al Nasr continue in seventh with 28.
Both Shabab Al Ahli and Sharjah did try to break the deadlock but the former were more aggressive as they created more chances in the first-half.
Al Dhafra ended Shabab Al Ahli’s unbeaten run at the Arabian Gulf Cup (AGC) to hand Dubai club their first defeat in the tournament 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
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