Dubai: Sharjah and Al Nasr were contrasting winners during early action in the eighth week of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL), on Friday.
In an ill-tempered match that witnessed six yellow cards, Sharjah rode on a 74th-minute strike from substitute Mohammad Ebrahim to earn only their second win this season.
Coming on in place of Omar Juma in the 66th minute, Ebrahim took very little time to settle in before scoring the only goal of the match and hand new coach Abdul Aziz Al Anbari his first win in charge.
The result took Sharjah further away from the drop zone as they climbed their way into mid-table in the 12-team standings with nine points to their name.
Meanwhile, new acquisition Marcelo da Silva scored a double and set up another as Cesar Prandelli’s Al Nasr swamped Hatta 5-1 and ease the pressure on the Italian.
Sharjah led 3-0 at half-time, only to see the home side pull one back early in the second half. But the men in blue added another two goals to put the match beyond Hatta and temporarily move into third place with 13 points.
Much of the home team’s miseries lay with their goalkeeper Obaid Thani who displayed butter fingers. In the 11th minute, he spilt a long-range effort and the opportunistic Marcelo pounced and guided the ball home for the opener. The visitors doubled their lead in the 26th minute when Khalifa Mubarak nicked in past the stranded Thani, and 10 minutes later Mauro Zarate drove in from the left and caught the Hatta goalkeeper on the wrong foot to go in at half-time with a 3-0 cushion.
The home side came back strongly and it was Maher Jasem who gave them a reason to smile in the 50th minute when he drilled in a stray ball from the edge of the area. However, Marcelo doubled his name on the score sheet when he drove in past his marker and sent in a low shot to the right of Thani to make it 4-1 on the hour mark. The visitors completed the rout in the 76th minute when Marcelo set up Jassim Yaqoub with a dainty little delivery for the youngster to snap up a sweet finish.