Dubai: Abu Dhabi neighbours enjoyed a week to remember with both Al Jazira and Al Wahda taking full points in Round Six of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) over the weekend.
Al Jazira returned to the capital following an entertaining 5-3 win over Shabab Al Ahli Dubai, and Al Wahda secured a 3-0 home result against 10-man Ajman on Saturday.
Al Wahda netted two quick-fire goals as Yahya Al Ghassani opened the scoring in the 22nd minute before doubling their lead through Gianluca Muniz three minutes later.
Ajman defender Darlington Emmanuel was sent off four minutes from half-time with VAR showing he brought down Al Wahda’s Tim Matavz as he went through on goal.
Finally, the home team made the issue safe when Mohammad Barqesh received the ball from Tahnoon Al Zaabi and tapped home in the 79th minute to see the Clarets climb into second on goal difference.
It was the fight between two top teams that took centre stage as visiting Al Jazira got off to a flying start in the seventh minute as Imoh Ezekiel slotted between Majid Nasser’s legs for a 1-0 lead.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi doubled their lead only five minutes later as Khalfan Mubarak’s defence-splitting pass put Ali Mabkhout in the clear to slot home past Nasser in the Shabab goal.
The home team reduced the deficit four minutes later when Abdul Aziz Haikal headed into Igor Jesus’ path inside the box for the Brazilian to beat his markers and sending the ball into the back of the net.
Abdullah Ramadan re-established the two-goal cushion for Al Jazira as he fired home from the edge of the box in the 37th minute to go in for the break with a 3-1 lead.
2. Al Wahda 13
3. Al Nasr 13
4. Al Jazira 11
5. Al Ain 11
6. Bani Yas 10
7. Al Dhafra 10
8. Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 9
9. Kalba 9
10. Al Wasl 6
11. Fujairah 4
12. Ajman 2
13. Khor Fakkan 1
14. Hatta 1
Jesus got his second of the night ten minutes into the second half following a solo run that saw him dribble past Al Jazira defenders and beat Khasief with a deft placement. But the home team did not have time to celebrate as substitute Oumar Traore crossed the ball to Mabkhout inside the box and the UAE national team striker fired in an incredible first touch to make it 4-2.
Ahmad Khalil came on as a substitute and netted the third for Shabab following a one-two with Jesus. The hosts then missed a couple of chances with Ahmad Al Attas’s try first sailing over in the 72nd minute and then his first-time shot striking the woodwork a few minutes later.
Al Jazira then put the win beyond any doubt two minutes from time when Traore controlled a long ball, beat his markers and fired into the back of the net. The win saw Al Jazira raise their tally to 11 points and climb into fourth, while Shabab dropped to eighth place with nine points.
Defending champions Sharjah continue to lead the table with maximum 18 points after six matches, while Al Wahda are in second with 13 points followed by Al Nasr in third on goal difference. Al Jazira and Al Ain are tied with 11 points in fourth and fifth, while Bani Yas and Al Dhafra take the next two places with 10 points each.
Al Wahda 3 Ajman 0
Al Dhafra 2 Khor Fakkan 0
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 3 Al Jazira 5