Al Wasl held as Al Ain rout Al Jazira - GulfToday

Al Wasl held as Al Ain rout Al Jazira


Action from a Pro League match.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Ten-man Al Wasl clung on to a 2-2 draw and return home with a point against Al Dhafra in the tenth round of the Pro League match on Sunday.

The visiting Al Wasl were stunned in the 11th minute when a stinging grounder from Makhete Diop squeezed into the far-right corner of Ibrahim Eisa Al Balooshi’s goal.

Al Wasl got a second shock when they were reduced to ten following a red card to defender Hassan Ibrahim Juma in the 28th minute.

But the Cheetahs re-grouped well and drew level in the 61st minute with a goal from Mohammed Salman Al Akberi.

Continuing with their persistent pressing, Ramiro Benetti gave Al Wasl the lead for the first time when he scored in the 67th minute. However, the home side had other ideas as Diop found his second goal of the evening after rising highest to head in a Hamad Al Marzooki cross from the right and deny Al Wasl full points on the night.

The result didn’t change much in the standings table as Al Wasl took their tally to 13 points, while Al Dhafra continued lingering near the drop zone with eight points.

Inspired by the guile of skipper Ismail Matar, Al Wahda paced themselves well for a 3-0 win against Ajman.

Held resolutely by the visiting Ajman for much of the first half, it was skipper Ismail Matar coming up with a moment of brilliance in the 47th minute when he cleverly stole the ball outside the area and laid in the path for Fabio Martins to score at the far end of the post with a low drive.

Harbi then doubled the score in the 51st minute when he was the first to arrive and tap in after goalkeeper Ali Al Hosani had saved an Omar Al Khrbin shot.

Matar was once again the provided as Joao Pedro scored the third for the Clarets to put the issue beyond doubt in the 80th minute.

The win helped Al Wahda take their tally to 20 points and keep up the pressure on leaders Al Ain, who are at the summit with 24 points following Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing of Al Jazira.

Ajman, who now slip further in the standings with 14 points, tried their best to get at least a goal, but the Al Wahda defence simply clamped up.

Earlier, Al Ain, once again, proved they are worthy of their spot on top of Pro League standings with another brilliant performance they delivered in their 5-1 away win over Al Jazira at Al Nahyan stadium on Saturday.

Both teams had their motives for a victory as Al Ain looked to keep a firm grip on the standings' lead they have maintained for most weeks of the current campaign, whereas Al Jazira were eyeing a higher ranking in the table closer to the top.

The home side grabbed the lead early in the 12th minute with a powerful header from the Serbian defender Miloš Kosanović before the visitors put on a show where tables have been completely turned.

Cristian Guanca scored the equalizer in the 24th minute before Kodjo Laba netted another goal from the penalty spot in the 31st minute.

On-form winger Soufianne Rahimi has produced some high-quality skills on the left flank as he dribbled past Al Jazira's defender and fired a left-foot shot from a very tight angle making it 3-1 before half-time.

With the start of the second half, Al Ain haven't gone any easier on Al Jazira as Togolese marksman Laba netted his second goal of the evening four minutes into the second half, benefiting from a blunder committed by Al Jazira's goalkeeper Al Ameri who failed to get hold of the ball after leaving his net unattended serving Al Ain their fourth goal on a silver plate.

Laba refused to squander such a perfect chance to bag a hat-trick against lackluster Al Jazira, as he sealed his side's triumph with a fifth goal in the first minute of added time.

Al Ain's point tally has gone up to 24 points where Al Jazira's balance stood at 16 points as they fell behind Shabab Al Ahly in fifth place.

Meanwhile, Emirates have held visiting Ittihad Kalba to a 1-1 draw in the tenth round of ADNOC Pro League as the hosts managed to earn their first point of the campaign, while Kalba's point tally increased to 12 points.

Ittihad Kalba took the initiative and had an attacking start, while the home team took some time until they got their feet wet in the game, but neither side was able to score in the first half.

Ittihad Kalba, however, found the back of the net in the 72nd minute through Omar AlKhodaim who took advantage of Emirate's goalkeeper Ali Saqer's mistake to put his side ahead.

It only took Emirates five minutes to bounce back with an equalizer from Zakaria Boulahia that gifted his team their first point of the season, ten weeks into the competition.

Emirates remain at the bottom of the table, with their one point, whereas Ittihad Kalba currently lie in ninth place with 12 points.

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