Dubai: Al Ain and Al Wasl recorded convincing wins to pull themselves up the standings in the 13th round of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL), on Thursday.
Brazilian Fabio De Lima turned provider twice as Al Wasl secured a 2-0 win over visiting Kalba, while Al Ain had Fo-Doh Kodjo Laba securing a brace in a 3-0 away win against bottom-placed Khor Fakkan.
The full points did well to put the two winners in better positions at the midway stage of the AGL. Champions for a record 13 times, Al Ain continued with their upward push to be tied on 24 points along with defending champions Sharjah, while Al Wasl improved by a spot into sixth position with 21 points.
Al Ain showed total composure as Laba opened the scoring in the fourth minute and then added a second in the 19th minute while Bandar Al Ahbabi bagged a third in the 51st minute for full points. And in Dubai, De Lima came up with two assists as the Cheetahs sailed through against visiting Kalba.
The first bit of action at the Zabeel Stadium came in the 18th minute when defender Henrique Buss’s header landed straight into Humaid Abdullah’s hands. The home team celebrated their first goal three minutes later when a clever run from De Lima caught the entire Kalba defence off-guard. The Brazilian feinted and passed to an unmarked Soares to tap in for an easy goal.
The home side kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a second three minutes from the half-time whistle as Ali Saleh swept in unchallenged to head in a pinpoint corner from De Lima.
In the second half, Al Wasl fell back deep giving Kalba opportunities to get a clearer look at their goal. But the home defence led by George Dwubeng and Lucas Galvao remained alert till the end.
Al Wasl 2 Kalba 0
Khor Fakkan 0 Al Ain 3