Matar stars as Al Wahda hit Hatta for six; Al Dhafra thrash Ajman - GulfToday

Matar stars as Al Wahda hit Hatta for six; Al Dhafra thrash Ajman

Arabian Gulf League

Players of Al Wahda celebrate after winning the Arabian Gulf League match aginst Hatta on Friday.

Ismail Matar starred as Al Wahda earned a 6-0 win over Hatta at Al Nahyan Stadium on Friday night in the opening matchweek of the Arabian Gulf League held under the slogan “commit to win.”

The home side got off to a flying start and were already 2-0 up only 15 minutes into the game. Just four minutes after kick-off, veteran forward Ismail Matar dribbled past the defenders inside the box and squared the ball to Slovenian forward Tim Matavz, who headed the ball home.  

This marked Al Wahda’s fastest goal in an opening game in the Arabian Gulf League.

Just before the quarter-hour mark, Al Wahda doubled their lead through Fares Juma. A cross from Tahnoon Al Zaabi found Juma inside the box, who slotted the ball into the back of the net.

To add salt to injury, Hatta were reduced to 10 men in the 27th minute, when Eisa Ahmed was shown a red card for a dangerous play against Al Zaabi.  

Just when it seemed that Al Wahda will be heading into half time with a 2-0 lead, Matavz completed his brace in injury time to put his side 3-0 up. In a repeat to the first goal, Matar sent an accurate through pass to Matavz inside the box and the Slovenian forward slotted home.

The Clarets continued to pile up the pressure in the second half and were eventually able to net their fourth of the night. Following a defensive error, the ball fell to Zaabi and he made no mistake scoring into an open net.

Ten minutes from time, Al Wahda were awarded a penalty kick and Matar scored from the spot to finally get his name on the scoresheet and put his side 5-0 up.

The home side were awarded another penalty and Congolese forward Paul-Jose M’Poku stepped up and found the back of the net to make it 6-0 for Al Wahda.

Al Wahda will next travel to face titleholders Sharjah on Thursday.

Al Dhafra rout Ajman: In the other match of the day, Al Dhafra put in an outstanding performance to earn a 4-1 win over Ajman at Hamdan Bin Zayed Stadium.

Al Dhafra got off to a great start when Mikhail Rosheuvel made an outstanding cross to Yaseen Bakheet who then converted it into a goal in the 6th minute.

The Oranges were so close to scoring the equalizer in the 9th minute from a foul that was shot by Gustavo De Maro but hit the crossbar.

In the 31st minute, Al Dhafra netted their second goal when they were awarded a penalty for a foul against Suhail Almansoori, only for Bakheet to score his second of the night bringing the score up to 2-0 for Al Dhafra.

Things got worse for Ajman in the 44th minute, when Almansoori scored the third for the hosts with a rocket flying into the back of the net following an assist from Bakheet.

Bobker Trawally tried to bring the Oranges back into the gamem but his efforts went down the drain when his shot passed just beside the left crossbar in the 50th minute.

In the 62nd minute, Almansoori scored the fourth goal for Al Dhafra Knights after an exceptional shot that changed its path upon hitting one of Ajman’s defenders.

The Oranges reduced the deficit the 94th minute when Trawally sent an exceptional pass to Humaid Abdullah who sent a powerful strike into Khaled Alsenaani’s net to make it 4-1.

Following Al Dahfra Knights’ win, they now occupy the second place with 3 points ahead of their next game against Al Jazira, while Ajman settled for the 13th place with no points ahead of their next important game against Ittihad Kalba.

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