Al Jazira players celebrate their victory on Saturday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Al Jazira defeated Shabab Al Ahli 5-3 in a thrilling clash held at the Rashid Stadium during matchweek 6 of the Arabian Gulf League on Saturday.
The match featured the most goals scored in a single game in the league’s new season. Victory helped Al Jazira raise their tally to 11 points to climb to fourth spot in the standings, while Shabab Al Ahli dropped to eighth place with nine points.
Al Jazira made a perfect start and were already 1-0 up in the seventh minute. Imoh Ezekiel launched a quick attack on the right wing before slotting the ball between Majed Naser’s legs to hand the guests 1-0 lead.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi doubled their lead only five minutes later. Khalfan Mubarak’s defense-splitting pass put Ali Mabkhout in a one-on-one situation with Naser and the 30-year-old made no mistake slotting the ball past the Shabab Al Ahli keeper.
Shabab Al Ahli reduced the deficit four minutes later when Abdulaziz Haikal headed the ball down into Igor Jesus’ path inside the box and the latter beat his markers before sending the ball into the back of the net.
Mabkhout then missed a chance to net the third for Al Jazira as his effort sailed over the bar. The Pride of Abu Dhabi did, however, score a third goal in the 37th minute. Following a number of passes between Al Jazira players in Shabab Al Ahli’s half, the ball fell to Abdulla Ramadan on the edge of the box, and he fired home to regain his side’s two-goal advantage.
Igor Jesus missed a chance to reduce the deficit once again when he failed to connect to Yousef Jaber’s pass in front of goal one minute before the break. The Brazilian forward tried his luck once more eight minutes after the restart, but his effort was denied by Al Jazira keeper Ali Khaseif.
Jesus’ efforts paid off two minutes later as he netted his side’s second goal following an individual effort that saw him dribble past Al Jazira defenders and beat Khaseif with a well-placed effort.
Shabab Al Ahli’s celebrations didn’t last long as Al Jazira regained their lead four minutes later. Substitute Oumar Traore crossed the ball to Mabkhout inside the box and the latter fired with an incredible first touch to hand his side a 4-2 lead.
Ten minutes after coming on as a substitute, Ahmed Khalil netted the third for Shabab Al Ahli to make it 4-3. After a one-two with Igor Jesus, Khalil charged into the penalty area to blast the ball into Al Jazira’s net and keep his side’s hopes of making a comeback alive.
The hosts then missed two chances to level the scoreline, when an effort from Ahmed Al Attas sailed over the goal in the 72nd minute, before he fired a shot that hit the woodwork a few minutes later.Al Jazira put the win beyond any doubt two minutes from time when Traore controlled a long ball in a perfect manner and beat his markers, before firing into the back of the net to hand his side a 5-3 win.
“Shabab Al Ahli successfully managed to sign the star of UAE football and international playmaker Omar Abdulrahman until the end of the season,” said Shabab Al Ahli in a statement.
A total of four matches will be played on the first day of the seventh round as Sharjah visit Khorfakkan, Al Jazira welcome Hatta, Al Wasl host Fujairah and Ajman meet Shabab Al Ahli Dubai.
Star striker Ali Mabkhout’s injury scare added to the Al Jazira’s woes as the capital club is already battling with fitness issues to some of their biggest stars.
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