Dubai: Bruno Correa’s hat-trick secured Al Nasr a 4-1 win at home to Al Wahda on Sunday, in their first return to Maktoum Stadium this season.
Walter Zenga’s side had been forced to play all of their home fixtures in the league and cup’s first ten matches of the 2012/13 campaign at neutral venues until their pitch was resurfaced. But they celebrated their homecoming in style to go second in the Etisalat Pro League, two points short of leaders Al Ain.
Bruno Correa nodded Al Nasr in front from a Guiseppe Mascara right corner inside ten minutes. Leo Lima got a first head to the cross at the near post only for keeper Adel Mohammad to palm it back into Correa’s path in the middle of the box.
Al Wahda’s Mohammad Al Shehhi then missed a chance to equalise from a through ball by Esmail Mattar, slicing his effort from the right of the box just wide of the left post before twenty minutes.
On the half hour Al Nasr coach Walter Zenga was sent to the stands by referee Ali Al Badawi for dissent having continually breached his technical area.
But despite lacking their coach from the sidelines, Al Nasr almost extended their lead before the half. Mascara’s cross evaded a jumping Adel Mohammad, Eisa Ahmad and Correa only to find Nashat Akram at the left post. Akram lashed out in surprise at the opportunity but the Iraqi midfielder struck it over the bar.
Up the other end Al Wahda had a similar chance when Al Shehhi curled a cross into Papa Waigo, but the striker toe-poked it wide under pressure from Abdullah Ali and Hilal Saeed.
Al Nasr added a second just after the hour when Correa lobbed Adel Mohammad coming out of his area from 25 yards despite pressure from a backtracking Eisa Ahmad. The long ball to supply Correa came from Mascara deep in his own half.
Five minutes later Correa completed his hat-trick after Leo Lima slotted the ball down field from just outside his own area. It penetrated the centre of the field for Correa to run on to it and outpace Othman Al Shamsi and Eisa Ahmad before tucking it right of the keeper.
Nashat Akram was sent off for Al Nasr with 15 minutes to spare for elbowing Hamdan Al Kamali before Al Wahda got consolation from Tawfeeq Al Hosani ten minutes from time. Al Hosani struck bottom left from outside the area after a right cross from Waigo.
Correa turned playmaker before the end putting Humaid Abbas through on goal to again evade the centre backs and tap right of Adel Mohammad. It ended a convincing performance from a side chasing first position, for the first time in 26 years, having finished third and second in the past two consecutive seasons.