Sharjah: Sharjah picked up full points with a 6-3 drubbing of Al Nasr and join Al Wahda at the top of the standings, while Al Wasl fought hard for a 1-1 draw against Bani Yas in second round action of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) late on Friday.
Bani Yas scored in the 15th minute through Leroy George and defended till Fabio de Lima scored an equalizer a minute after the hour-mark as the two teams split points in Abu Dhabi.
The hero for Sharjah was a four-goal haul from Brazilian Welliton Soares as the home side mauled visiting Al Nasr 6-3. Much of the action was concentrated during the early part of play with Sharjah threatening to run away with the match after leading 5-0 by the 41st minute.
Coming in handy for Sharjah was former Spartak Moscow striker Soares – top scorer in the Russian Premier League in 2009 and 2010 – with his three of his four strikes coming in the first 35 minutes.
Soares was on target from the penalty spot in the eighth minute, while fellow Brazilian Igor Coronado added a second also from the spot in the 15th minute. Soares, who turns 32 next month, headed into the far corner for 3-0 and then completed his hat-trick in the 35th minute after tapping home a loose ball following a save from Mohammad Yousuf. Ryan Mendes then joined the scoresheet in the 41st minute when he ploughed his way through a maze of defenders and placed to the right of Yousuf.
The Al Nasr fightback took off in the 43rd minute as Yohan Cabaye placed from well outside the area to the far end of the Sharjah goal. Iury Lirio scored a second during first half extra-time and Sharjah went off with a comfortable looking 5-2 cushion.
Coming in after the break, Al Nasr got a third when Marcos Gabriel curled in a beauty in the 57th minute and make it 5-3. The visitors did come close on a couple of occasions, but the Sharjah defence stood tall thwarting all attacks and mounting quick counters.
Eventually, a silly mistake from substitute Khalifa Mubarak saw Soares pounce on a back pass and tap into an empty goal to complete the high-scoring encounter.
Sharjah x Al Nasr 6-3
Bani Yas x Al Wasl 1-1
Dibba x Al Wahda 1-4
Kalba x Emirates 2-0