Dubai: Al Nasr slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Sharjah as the second half of the Arabian Gulf League season got back under way after the winter break on Thursday.
Salem Saleh cancelled out Vander Vieira’s 17th minute penalty on 32 minutes to draw the hosts level, but then Suhail Al Mansouri got the winner on his debut four minutes before the end in his first match for Sharjah since joining from Al Wahda.
Sharjah leapt from ninth to seventh in the 12-team table with the victory, while Al Nasr kept hold of fourth position thanks to the fact that Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club, who are just a point behind them, being held to a 1-1 draw away to Hatta.
Hatta moved a point clear of bottom-placed Al Dhafra with the result, while Shabab Al Ahli Dubai drew level — but clear on goal difference — with sixth-placed defending champions Al Jazira.
Bottom-placed Al Dhafra’s misery continued despite bringing in new players over the winter break as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to third-from-bottom Emirates. Sebastian Saez got the game’s only goal just before the hour mark.
These games came before Friday’s tests, where third-placed Al Wahda travelled to ninth-placed Dibba, sixth-placed Al Jazira visited eighth-placed Ajman and first-placed Al Wasl hosted second-placed Al Ain. The top three all had a chance to hit the summit this weekend with all three teams within two points of one other.