Dubai: The continued dominance of Sharjah at the top and the return to form of Al Wasl were among the highlights at the end of Round Eight of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) held on Wednesday and Thursday.

One of two teams who are yet to lose so far this season, Sharjah opened the scoring through Wellinton Soares in the 24th minute, while Igor Coronado converted from the penalty spot just after the hour. Champions last year, Al Ain pulled one back in the 67th minute when their Swedish striker found the back of the net.

But that was all the defending champions could muster as Sharjah maintained their fine form this season with a sixth win and a couple of draws to stay as one of two teams with an unbeaten record. The away win helped Sharjah open up a comfortable four-point gap at the top of the table from Al Jazira — who were surprisingly held 3-3 by Dibba in Thursday’s second early match.

The big move of the week came from Al Wasl as the former seven-time league champions found their scoring touch against an otherwise composed Fujairah who were reduced to ten men before the half-hour. Coming in handy for The Cheetahs was their tried and tested scoring combination of Caio Canedo and Fabio De Lima who both bagged a hat-trick apiece for a 6-3 thrashing of Ivan Hasek’s side.

“Honestly, I think we can walk with our heads held high simply because we played some entertaining football despite being down by a player,” Hasek told the media later.

“We always knew Al Wasl would be dangerous and difficult. But playing with one man short made things even more difficult and I can smile with satisfaction with the character shown by my players as we head into our next game in less than three days’ time,” he added.

Also earning full points were Ajman following their 3-2 away win over Kalba, while Bani Yas made full use of home advantage to pocket three points against Al Dhafra.

Dropping vital points were challengers Al Jazira, Al Wahda, Shabab Ahli and Al Nasr. Al Jazira were held away 3-3 by a gutsy Dibba, Shabab Ahli banked on a brace from substitute Esmail Al Hammadi to hold Al Wahda 2-2, while Al Nasr drew 3-3 against Emirates Club in Ras Al Khaimah.

RESULTS

Emirates 3 Al Nasr 3

Kalba 2 Ajman 3

Bani Yas 2 Al Dhafra 1

Al Ain 1 Sharjah 2

Dibba 3 Al Jazira 3

Al Wasl 6 Fujairah 3

Al Wahda 2 Shabab Ahli 2

Standings

P W D L GF-GA Pts

Sharjah 8 6 2 0 21-8 20

Al Jazira 8 4 4 0 22-15 16

Al Ain 8 5 1 2 17-9 16

Al Wahda 8 4 2 2 25-17 14

Shabab Ahli 8 4 1 3 17-15 13

Fujairah 8 3 2 3 15-19 11

Bani Yas 8 2 4 2 15-14 10

Al Wasl 8 3 1 4 17-17 10

Kalba 8 3 1 4 15-16 10

Ajman 8 3 1 4 10-17 10

Al Dhafra 8 3 0 5 11-16 9

Al Nasr 8 2 2 4 13-19 8

Emirates 8 1 2 5 12-20 5

Dibba 8 1 1 6 10-18 4