Dubai: Shabab Ahli’s pursuit of the top three suffered a hit after a 3-0 defeat away to mid-table Bani Yas in the Arabian Gulf League on Tuesday.

The Knights had a chance to go level for third with Al Jazira, who lost their earlier tie 3-2 away to third-from-bottom Al Dhafra. However, Shabab Ahli too fell to defeat to stay fourth. They are now six points behind leaders Sharjah and second-placed Al Ain. Both Sharjah and Al Ain remain level on points but separated by goal difference.

Pedro Conde put the hosts in front from a penalty on 36 minutes, and after Shabab Ahli’s Henrique Luvannor was sent off after the hour, Conde got his second on 78 minutes before Leroy George got the third from the spot on 81 minutes.

This result followed wins for leaders Sharjah 3-2 away to fifth-placed Al Wahda and second-placed Al Ain, who beat 12th-placed Al Wasl 3-1.

One small mercy for Shabab Ahli is that Al Wahda couldn’t maintain their pressure on the top four. Sixth-placed Ajman were also pegged back with a 1-1 draw away to second-from-bottom Emirates. Elsewhere, Al Nasr beat Fujairah 2-0 at home to go ninth, sending Fujairah down to 11th, while bottom-placed Dibba lost 3-1 at home to seventh-placed Kalba.

The Arabian Gulf League now takes a break for President’s Cup Last 16 matches this weekend and will return next weekend December 13-14.

The best of the President’s Cup last 16 action sees league leaders Sharjah play third-placed Al Jazira from 7.30pm on Saturday and second-placed Al Ain meet struggling Al Wasl from 7.30pm on Friday.