Abu Dhabi: Bani Yas struck twice in the first half to hand Al Jazira a 2-1 defeat in round 16 of the Arabian Gulf League at the Bani Yas Stadium.
The hosts took the lead in the 10th minute. Yousuf Jaber’s cross found Colombian Michael Ortega inside the box and the latter shot home with ease.
The home side then doubled the lead in the 17th minute through the Dutch recruit Leroy George, who came up with a power-packed effort following a pass from Suhail Al Noobi.
Had it not been for goalkeeper Ali Khaseif, Al Jazira would have trailed further. The pride of Abu Dhabi came back strongly and reduced the deficit through a penalty just before the break. Ali Mabkhout scoring to swell his goal tally to 16.
Khalfan Mubarak also saw a powerful effort being saved by Bani Yas goalkeeper Fahad Al Dhanhani before half-time.
Al Jazira pushed hard to get the equaliser but efforts from Sebastien Siani and Ernest Asante were kept out by an alert Al Dhanhani. In the end, Bani Yas held on to their one-goal lead. With this win, Bani Yas keep their fifth spot with 27 points while Al Jazira remain on third with 31 points.
Also on Thursday, Al Wasl riding on a solitary goal by Fabio De Lima beat Al Wahda at Zabeel Stadium.
De Lima headed home a Ronaldo Mendes’ free-kick past the Al Wahda keeper Mohammad Al Shamsi in the 13th minute. This was Al Wahda’s sixth defeat of the season and they remain on sixth spot with 24 points. Al Wasl, with this three points, have temporarily moved to ninth place with 17 points.