Dubai: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai and Kalba collected full points in Round Six action of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Thursday.
Nursing a shock 1-0 loss to cross-city rivals Al Nasr last week, Shabab’s Brazilian striker Henrique Luvannor scored one and set up another to help tame Ajman 3-1 keep up the pressure on the top teams, while Kalba did themselves proud before their home fans through a Balazs Dzsuzsak first-half brace for a 2-1 result against Bani Yas.
With Al Wasl hosting Hatta and defending champions Sharjah up against Fujairah in the late matches, the win handed Shabab Al Ahli Dubai a temporary spot at the top with 13 points, while Kalba pulled away from the drop zone with six points against their name.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai kept a strong hold of the possession while the visitors remained content on trying to catch them on the quick counters. The home team could have taken the lead in the very fourth minute when Faisal Khalil and Esmail Al Hammadi tore through the defence only to see Ajman goalkeeper bring off a stunning one-handed save and deny them.
Ajman responded almost immediately in the sixth minute, but Vander Vieira’s left-footed volley missed the target narrowly.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai finally took the lead in the 21st minute – thanks to an intervention from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) – and Luvannor’s nod off into the net was deemed a goal. The home team doubled their advantage in the 41st minute with Luvannor turning provider this time while supplying to Al Hammadi for a 2-0 half-time lead.
Ajman caught the home team by surprise in the early part of the second half and Bobker Trawally poked home from close in the 52nd minute to keep the visitors in the game. That goal woke up Rodolfo Arruabbarrena’s team as they went all out and finally Yousuf Jaber assured full points on the 74th minute when his looping header off a Davide Mariani free kick found the far corner of the Ajman goal.
In the second match, Kalba held on for a 2-1 result for only their second win of the season with former Al Wahda player Dzsuzsak scoring a brace, while Sultan Al Shamsi pulled one back on the hour mark for Bani Yas.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 3 Ajman 1
Kalba 2 Bani Yas 1