Dubai: Defending champions Sharjah maintained their perfect record at the top of the standings with a 5-1 drubbing of Al Wasl to conclude the fourth round of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL), late on Saturday.
The only side with four wins from as many matches, Sharjah rode on a brace and an assist from their Brazilian star Igor Coronado while Ryan Mendes, Ricardo Gomes and Marcus Vinicius added a goal each as The King regained their perch at the top with maximum 12 points.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai are in second with ten points thanks to their 2-0 win against visiting Bani Yas earlier in the day, while Al Ain continue in third with nine points.
After a rather sedate start, the visitors shot ahead in the 24th minute when Coronado cleverly broke the off-side trap and headed in a pin-point cross from Mohammad Al Sheh’hi.
Well organized till then, the home side went all out for an equalizer and the closest they came was in the 35th minute when young Ali Saleh guided his left-footed lay-off from Welliton Soares over the Sharjah goal.
The pressure from The Cheetahs continued, but that only resulted in handing out a more open spaces to Sharjah. On the prowl for a goal at all times, the visitors rightly doubled their lead in the 28th minute as Alhasan Saleh did all the hard work on the left and then passed on to an unmarked Coronado for the easiest of tap-ins.
The King killed off the encounter and the spirit of the home faithful in the 41st minute when a swift counter saw Otabek Shukurov relay to Ricardo Gomes, who in turn flicked to an unmarked Mendes to blast in a left-footed volley past Mohammad Al Bairaq.
Even though Al Wasl looked better in the second half and managed a consolation through Fabio De Lima, the visitors managed to add another two and complete the rout. Coronado, who preferred to drift in from empty spaces through the deep, darted from the left to send in a pin-point cross for Gomes to glance in.
Hard-working Lima, who had been given very little liberty by the Al Wasl defence, pulled back a consolation goal for the home side when he guided in a cross from substitute Ahmad Ali Al Ebri to make it 4-1 in the 80th minute. But Sharjah stamped their class once again just three minutes later as substitute Marcus Vinicius pile-driver from well outside the box found the far corner of the Al Wasl goal.
Al Dhafrah x Ajman 1-0; Kalba x Fujairah 1-0
Al Wasl x Sharjah 1-5; Al Ain x Hatta 2-1; Al Wahda x Al Nasr 3-1; Shabab Al Ahli Dubai x Bani Yas 2-0; Khor Fakkan x Al Jazira 1-3.