Shabab Al Ahli beat Fujairah; Hatta, Al Dhafra share spoils - GulfToday

Shabab Al Ahli beat Fujairah; Hatta, Al Dhafra share spoils

Arabian Gulf League

Players of Shabab Al Ahli and Fujairah in action during their matchweek 23 game of the Arabian Gulf League at the Rashid Stadium on Friday.

Shabab Al Ahli came from 2-0 down to defeat Fujairah 3-2 at Rashid Stadium in matchweek 23 of the Arabian Gulf League on Friday.

Fujairah got off to a flying start with a goal in the opening three minutes when Douglas Coutinho headed home from Rachid an Ait-Atmane corner.

Jaloliddin Masharipov missed on a golden chance to level the scoreline when his close-range effort smacked against the woodwork on the 20-minute mark before the rebound went inches wide of goal.

The guests doubled their lead as provider turned scorer with Muftau Owolabi finding Coutinho’s pass and tapping home from close range just after the half-hour mark.

Igor Jesus got the hosts back into the game when he picked up a rebound effort and fired past Fujairah keeper six minutes before the break. Shabab Al Ahli leveled the scoreline only seven minutes after the restart when Mohamed Juma ran on to a pass from Masharipov to finish past Fujairah keeper.

Fujairah keeper Abdulla Altamimi saved Carlos Eduardo’s penalty on 79 minutes to keep the game leveled at 2-2.

Shabab Al Ahli completed their comeback on the stroke of full-time with Masharipov powering his header into the top of the net to seal a 3-2 victory for the home side.  The Uzbek midfielder is now involved in 5 goals in his team’s last 6 matches in the Arabian Gulf League.

Shabab Al Ahli extended their unbeaten run to 13 league games and moved temporarily to third place on 43 points, two ahead of Sharjah who still have a game in hand. Fujairah stay 12th on 14 points, three above Ajman who are scheduled to face Khorfakkan on Saturday.

Hatta meanwhile failed to revive their dwindling top-flight survival chances after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Al Dhafra in another AGL matchweek 23 game on Friday.

Al Dhafra got off to a strong start at Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium when Dutch winger Mikhail Rosheuvel’s cross found Makhete Diop unmarked in the box and the forward powered his header into the back of the net on 8 minutes. This marked the Senegalese forward’s 100th goal in the Arabian Gulf League.

The guests missed a chance to double their lead as Braian Ramirez made a goal-line clearance to deny Masoud Sulaiman’s header. Hatta netted the equalizer just before half-time when Jonathas fired in from close range past keeper Khaled Al Senani.

The home side completed their comeback eight minutes after the break when Jonathas converted from the spot to put his side 2-1 up. Less than 15 minutes from time, Mohamed Aljneibi fired a one-touch effort into the top corner of Hatta’s goal to level the scoreline at 2-2.

Hatta failed to snatch their third win of the season as they stay at the bottom of the standings on 9 points. Al Dhafra stay 11th on 21 points, seven above Fujairah.

CRUCIAL TIES FOR AL JAZIRA, BANI YAS AND SHARJAH: Al Wasl travel to face Al Jazira at Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday. The three points will be potentially crucial for the Pride of Abu Dhabi in what became a tight title race, especially after their stumble against Al Wahda, which saw them drop to second place.

They will, however, face a tough task against in-form Al Wasl who have most recently played out a 3-3 draw with Sharjah and have been undefeated for 12 straight games.

Khorfakkan will be looking to improve their midtable position when they host Ajman at Saqr Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi Stadium. On the other hand, the Oranges need the three points to revive their survival hopes as they are three points behind 12th-placed Fujairah.

Sharjah and Bani Yas conclude the matchweek 23 action when they face off at 20:15. The Sky Blues will be looking to tighten their grip on the top spot and edge a step closer to what could be a historic league title triumph.

Meanwhile, titleholders Sharjah seek to end their disappointing run which saw them drop to third place on 41 points, seven behind leaders Bani Yas.

TRAINING PROGRAM FOR CLUB’S ADMINISTRATIVE CADRES: The UAE Pro League launched the first phase of its training program aimed at supporting and developing the skills of the clubs’ administrative cadres, through specialised courses developed in line with best practices.

The initiative is part of the UAEPL’s efforts to enhance all aspects of the game in accordance with the 2030 strategic plan and in a way that complements the development program that has been organised by the UAE Pro League for club employees over the past three years.

As a first step, a bilingual role-specific manual has been created which is then expanded on through two education sessions. Building on this key information, a tailor-made mentorship for each of the club staff is designed with very specific and clear goals to be achieved by the end of the mentorship. Throughout the period, best practice insight is provided by leading global football industry consultants.

The first club staff to benefit from the Capacity Building Initiative will be the top administrators of each club, the Chief Executive Officers. By the end of the eight-week session, each CEO will have made significant progress with the creation and implementation of a football club strategic plan.

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