Dubai: Al Jazira moved alongside Sharjah at the top of the standings in the 10th round of action in the Arabian Gulf League (AGL).
Defending champions Sharjah crashed to their first defeat of the season following a 2-1 loss against Bani Yas, while Al Jazira kept up the pressure with a 3-2 away win in Dubai against Al Wasl to move on to 23 points with the defending champions.
Despite a narrow 2-1 loss against 13-time champions Al Ain, Dubai’s Al Nasr stay in third place with 20 points, while Bani Yas climbed one spot into fourth with 19 points.
But it was the first loss of defending champions Sharjah that was the talking point as they wasted too many chances to go down to Bani Yas.
Welliton Soares scored for Sharjah in the 26th minute when he slotted home following an assist from Caio Lucas, only to see his effort getting ruled offside. Soares threatened again in the 31st minute after he fired a shot from inside the penalty area but saw his effort blocked by Bani Yas goalkeeper Fahad Al Dhanhani.
The home team came close to breaking the deadlock when Hassan Al Moharrami’s 71st-minute header went inches wide. But the Sky Blues netted the winner 10 minutes from time when Ahmad Abunamous dribbled past five Sharjah players before firing the ball into the back of the net.
Ten-man Al Ain resurrected their hopes for a push towards the top with a 2-1 win against Al Nasr in Dubai.
Al Ain captain Mohammad Abdul Rahman was denied by goalkeeper Ahmad Shambih in the sixth minute. But, Khalid Eisa was equally quick while denying Israeli player Diaa Saba’s efforts in the 12th and 18th minute.
Shortly after that, Al Ain lost Bandar Al Ahbabi following a rough challenge on one of the Al Nasr players. The referee consulted VAR before giving the Al Ain playmaker his marching orders in the 23rd minute.
Despite the setback, Al Ain opened the scoring in the 37th minute when Salem Abdullah passed to his captain who was challenged by Mohammad Ali Ayed and the defender miscued the ball into his own net.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 57th minute when Rafael Pereira converted off a good cross from Brazilian Caio Canedo.
Al Nasr reduced the deficit 20 minutes from time, when defender Tsukasa Shiotani scored an own goal. Al Nasr came close to securing the equaliser in the dying minutes of the game after Brandley Kuwas fired a backward shot in the penalty area, but was blocked by Khalid Eisa.
In other significant results, Fujairah handed incoming coach Mahdi Ali his first loss since taking over Shabab Al Ahli Dubai last week, while Al Dhafra climbed into seventh with a 1-0 home with against Hatta and Al Jazira continued their pressure at the top with a 3-2 win against Al Wasl at the Zabeel Stadium.
Al Dhafra 1 Hatta 0
Bani Yas 1 Sharjah 0
Al Wasl 2 Al Jazira 3
Kalba 0 Al Wahda 0
Fujairah 3 Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 2
Al Nasr 1 Al Ain 2
Ajman 1 Khor Fakkan 2