Dubai: Shabab Al Ahli Dubai assumed a temporary spot at the top while Al Nasr rode on Alvaro Negredo’s brace to stun Al Wahda at home in early action of the fourth round of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Saturday.
Al Ain and Al Jazira also secured crucial wins early in the day.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai scored two goals in the last seven minutes of the first half for a 2-0 win over visiting Bani Yas, while Al Nasr fought back from a goal down to get the better of Al Wahda 3-1 and the second capital side travelled well for a dominating 3-1 result against Khor Fakkan.
In Dubai, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai maintained their momentum in the league with a commanding show that saw the former seven-time champions take the lead in the 38th minute when a Leonardo da Silva shot crashed into the top-most corner of the goal. Swiss playmaker Davide Mariani doubled the cushion with a minute to go for half-time when his miscued volley looped over Fahad Al Dhanhani.
Given a comparatively easier outing, Al Jazira returned to Abu Dhabi with full points from the Ittihad Kalba Club ground. Khalifa Al Hammadi put the visitors ahead in the 18th minute, while star striker Ali Mabkhout rounded off goalkeeper Mohammad Yousuf before placing into an empty goal just before the half-time whistle.
Raphael de Paula brought Khor Fakkan back with a goal in the 74th minute, but Abdullah Ramadan struck four minutes later to give Al Jazira a two-goal cushion once again.
In the only match played in the capital this weekend, the hosts went clear in the 37th minute when Carlos Daniel Lopez’s penalty found the far corner of the Al Nasr goal manned by Ahmad Al Shambieh. But the visitors drew level immediately on resumption when Spanish international Alvaro Negredo outjumped his marker and headed to the extreme left corner of Mohammad Al Shamsi’s goal.
Negredo scored his second, also off another dazzling header that struck the upright and bounced into the goal, while substitute Habib Al Fardan put the issue beyond doubt on the 90th minute off a quick counter-attack to hand Al Nasr a confident first win this season.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai occupy the top position temporarily with 10 points, but with defending champions Sharjah playing away against Al Wasl later last night, the standings are bound to change.
Friday: Al Dhafrah 1 Ajman 0; Kalba 1 Fujairah 0
Saturday: Al Ain 2 Hatta 1; Al Wahda 3 Al Nasr 1; Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 2 Bani Yas 0; Khor Fakkan 1 Al Jazira 3.