Dubai: A hat-trick from Romulo dos Santos saw third-from-bottom Al Dhafra knock Al Jazira off the top of the Arabian Gulf League with a 3-2 win at home in Madinat Zayed on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Brazilian forward first rounded the keeper for the opener on 26 minutes and then headed in a cross for the second on 78 minutes.
Ali Mabkhout pulled one back for Al Jazira on 87 minutes and could have got an equaliser with a header soon after, but Dos Santos popped up again to complete his hat-trick on 90 minutes, tapping in a cross after being found free in space at the back post.
Mabkhout eventually got his brace from the penalty spot on 98 minutes but by that moment, late on in stoppage time, it was already the last kick in game and would only serve as consolation.
Al Jazira had been in a three-way tie for first with Al Ain and Sharjah heading into this encounter. However, 24 hours before Al Jazira played Al Dhafra, Al Ain had already beaten Al Wasl 3-1 and Sharjah edged Al Wahda 3-2 to heap pressure on the Abu Dhabi giants.
With this defeat Al Jazira now fall behind Al Ain and Sharjah into a solo third position. Sharjah edge Al Ain for first only on goal difference but both are still level at the top on 28 points. Al Dhafra now move out of the bottom three with this win.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, sixth-placed Ajman were held to a 1-1 draw at second-from-bottom Emirates.