Dubai: Former Manchester City and Spain striker Alvaro Negredo made amends for early misses with a hat-trick as incoming coach Caio Cesar Zanardi Gomes got off to a winning start with a comeback 4-2 victory over neighbours Al Wasl in 19th round action of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Wednesday.
With opposing skippers Caio Canedo and Alvaro Negredo getting a brace apiece it all looked like the two sides were destined to share points. But second-half substitute Yaqoob accepted a lovely ball from Negredo to curl past the outstretched hands of Al Wasl goalkeeper Humaid Abdullah Ali and set the Blues on to their fifth win of this season.
The visitors had opened the scoring in the sixth minute with skipper Canedo slamming home from the penalty spot following a VAR referral, while Negredo made amends for a missed first-half penalty to find the equaliser in the 53rd minute after their opponents had been reduced to 10 following a red card to Salem Al Azizi.
However, The Cheetahs refused to give up and Canedo got a second when he snatched the ball from Lebanese Joan Oumari to place past Ahmad Shambieh a minute after the hour mark. The home team made a fantastic comeback when Negredo got his second of the evening in the 77th minute when he slammed in a rebound for the second time to make it 2-2.
But it was substitute Yaqoob who made the difference for the home side with his well-curved effort that gave the Al Wasl custodian no chance at all in the 83rd minute. And then Negredo was once again at his opportunistic best volleying home low well into injury period to hand Al Nasr their first full points in six rounds of the AGL.