Abu Dhabi: A brace by Salem Saleh saw Al Nasr thrash Al Ain 3-0 in the Week 5 of the Arabian Gulf Cup Group A clash at the Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Stadium on Thursday.
Marcelo Cirino put Al Nasr in the lead just two minutes into play. The winger drove home Salem Saleh’s headed pass from inside the box.
Cesare Prandelli’s men went on to double their lead in the 16th minute. This time Saleh getting in on the scoring act.
The striker latched onto a long ball from Rashid Omer and curled the ball past goalkeeper Mohammad Bu Senda to make it 2-0.
Saleh scored his second and the third for his side after the change of ends. Mauro Zarate’s effort was blocked by Bu Senda but the rebound landed in the path of Saleh who blasted into the goal with a power-packed effort.
In another Group A encounter, Al Jazira confirmed their place at the Arabian Gulf Cup quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Ajman at Rashid bin Saeed Stadium.
The lone goal of the match was triggered by Salem Al Eedi, who broke Ajman’s offside trap, before finding Ahmed Rabia with a measured through-ball. Rabia then kept his cool to calmly slot home the winner past an onrushing Ajman goalkeeper.
The result takes ‘The Pride of Abu Dhabi’ to 10 points while Ajman end the group stages with four points. Ajman will be knocked out of the tournament if Hatta go on to beat Al Jazira in next week’s action.
Also a brace by Saeed Al Katheeri saw Al Dhafra edge past Hatta 2-1 at Maktoum Bin Rashid Stadium to conclude their Arabian Gulf Cup campaign on four points.
Samuel Rosa put Hatta in the lead soon after the first quarter. He found space behind Al Dhafra’s defence and after latching on to a through ball slipped it through the legs of goalkeeper Ibrahim Al Kaabi.
The Western Knights equalised through Al Katheeri 10 minutes before the break. After the change of ends, Al Katheeri was on the scoresheet again. The forward unleashed 20-yard power-packed attempted which settled into the top corner of the goal. The result does nothing to change Al Dhafra’s elimination from the competition.