Dubai: Sharjah maintained their unbeaten run while notching up their fifth win of the season, to consolidate their sole lead at the top after seven rounds of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL).
Scoring on either side of half-time, Sharjah powered their way to a 2-0 cushion through Majid Surour (16th minute) and Welliton Morais (51st minute) before an injury period strike from Pedro Conde helped Bani Yas pull one back.
Coached by former UAE playmaker Abdul Aziz Al Anbari, ‘The King,’ Sharjah managed to reclaim their position at the top of the 14-team standings with 17 points following five wins and a couple of drawn encounters.
Another unbeaten team so far and title contender, Al Jazira suffered a slight wobble as they were held away 1-1 by Kalba. Down to a 48th minute Tommy Reyes goal, Al Jazira secured an equaliser through Leonardo Pereira in the 79th minute to rescue a point at home against the visiting Kalba, at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium.
Fresh from their win against defending champions Al Ain earlier in the month, the pride of Abu Dhabi now have four victories and three draws for their 15 points. And together with Sharjah, they are the only team to possess an unbeaten record after seven rounds of the league.
Defending champions Al Ain made up for their Round Six blip against Al Jazira with a dominating 3-0 result over Ajman. Held goalless by a plucky home team, Al Ain had to wait patiently till the 82nd minute, when their Swedish striker Marcus Berg converted a gem of a free kick. Egyptian Hussain Al Shahat made it 2-0 by the 86th minute and Ebrahim Diakhy rounded off a fine outing for Zoran Mamic on the 90th minute as the men from the Garden City climbed back into second place with 16 points.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai were also among the winners in Week Seven, with the club from Al Ghusais picking up full points after a hard-fought 2-1 win over cross-city rivals Al Wasl in last Wednesday’s lone match. Those three points moved Shabab Al Ahli Dubai into fifth place with 12 points, just one shy of Al Wahda who were held to a 2-2 draw by Al Nasr late on Friday.
Going winless for the first four rounds, Al Dhafra continued their winning streak while recording a third straight result following a 2-0 result at home against Emirates Club. After successive losses to Sharjah (0-4), Al Ain (1-2), Kalba (0-2) and Dibba (1-3), Al Dhafra has been the team to watch since the start of this month.
Al Dhafra began with a stunning 2-1 win at home against Al Wasl and followed this up with a dominant 4-2 win against Al Wahda before taking three points against Emirates Club on Thursday.
Teams will hardly get a reprieve as all of them will be seen in midweek action for Round Eight. In potentially engrossing matches, Sharjah will travel to Al Ain on October 31 to decide early bragging rights for the top spot while Al Wahda will host Shabab Al Ahli Dubai the following day.