Dubai: Al Jazira and Al Wasl walked away with honours squared at the end of the seventh round derby of the Etisalat Pro League here late on Friday.
With both teams desperate for a much-needed boost of three points to upgrade their standings in the league, there was nothing either could do to ensure a goal during 90 minutes of play.
With play being dominated to midfield action, the home team seemed to miss the services of playmaker Mariano Donda.
Al Jazira continue in seventh position with eleven points while Al Wasl follow them in eighth place with ten.
The first and perhaps only serious attempt on goal for the opening half came only in the 38th when Al Wasl’s Emmanuel Alfaro received from Lucas Neill and forced Ali Khasief into making a hasty save.
In the second half both teams showed much more urgency in their attempts for a goal to break the deadlock. The half’s first good move came in the 51st when Rashid Eisa and Saud Saeed combined well only for the last-
named to volley wide in a hurry with only Khasief at his mercy.
As the match wore on the opportunities started getting better and all credit must go to Al Wasl’s young goalkeeper Rashid Ali who was playing in place of the injured Ahmad Mahmoud.
Two minutes after the hour mark, Al Wasl’s young goalkeeper came to the rescue of the home side by denying a toe butt from Oliveira. Al Jazira responded a minute later when Juma Abdullah nearly poached one in after the Al Wasl goalkeeper failed to collect cleanly.
In the 79th minute goalkeeper Rashid Ali again denied Abdullah Mousa from point blank range only to see the home team nearly clinch full points three minutes later after Alfaro did well to beat the off-side trap, but get one slight extra touch to be denied by a chasing Juma Abdullah.
Possibly the best chance of the match came in the 85th minute when Ali Khasief flung himself to parry away a Shikabala free kick for an abortive corner. And then a minute later, former Al Nasr player Ali Abbas nearly gave new coach Guy Lacombe the best start in his new assignment but his effort came off the upright.
Paulo Bonamigo tried his best at breaking the deadlock when he sent in two substitutes in the final five minutes, but nothing seemed to work for the former champions from Abu Dhabi as they had to be content with a point for their efforts.
In earlier matches on Friday, Bani Yas powered their way to a 3-1 win over Al Nasr to deny the club from Dubai a position at the top of the standings, while Al Ahli beat newly-promoted Al Shaab 3-1.