Dubai: Sharjah maintained their unbeaten record so far this season with a convincing 2-1 win against visiting Bani Yas, while former Manchester City and Valencia striker Alvaro Negredo scored a brace to snatch a vital point for Al Nasr against Al Wahda in a 2-2 draw in seventh round action of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL), late on Friday.
Sharjah scored on either side of half-time through Majid Surour (16th minute) and Welliton Morais (51st minute) and even a late strike from Pedro Conde did not stop The King from reclaiming their place at the top of the standings with 17 points.
Al Nasr, meanwhile, fought their way back for a decisive 2-2 draw to rescue a vital point against the visiting Clarets from the capital.
Down to an Ahmad Rashid goal that came just before half-time, it was Negredo being in the right place at the right time to sneak in a cross from Marcos Gabriel in the 59th minute. But the visiting side took the lead in the 81st minute when Sebastian Tagliabue controlled well at the top of the box and banged home. But the 33-year-old Negredo was once again to the rescue of Al Nasr when he poked home from close range during injury time.
Al Wahda had slipped to a 2-4 loss to Al Dhafra in their sixth round match earlier this month to give their campaign a slight wobble. And the dramatics continued on a balmy Friday when the match was briefly halted after a spectator from the stands abused former UAE captain Esmail Mattar. Hurt by the insult, Mattar was in tears as he remonstrated with the match officials and play was halted till order was restored.
But that incident only gave the visiting Al Wahda more resolve as Tagliabue did a fantastic job in chesting a long delivery and banging home a stiff winner to the right of Ebrahim Eisa Ali on the Al Nasr goal.
However, the home side managed to snatch a vital point when Negredo darted in to poke home a loose ball that had encroached into the Al Wahda six-yard box. The lone point did very little for Al Nasr as they continued in eleventh place leaving Ajman, Emirates and Dibba in the last three slots in the 14-team standings.
Sharjah x Bani Yas 2-1
Al Nasr x Al Wahda 2-2