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Al Wasl miss chance to go four points clear

Maiga double pegs AGL leaders back; Al Ain held by Dibba

Gulf News

Dubai: Modibo Maiga’s late brace for Ajman denied Al Wasl the chance to go four points clear at the top of the Arabian Gulf League on Thursday.

Fabio Lima and Caio Correa had the league leaders 2-0 up at home inside the first half before third-from-bottom Ajman fought back after the break thanks to a late double from Maiga, which saw it end 2-2.

With second-placed Al Ain also drawing 0-0 away to Dibba on Thursday, this was an opportunity missed for Al Wasl, who remain just two points clear of The Boss.

Lima curled in an opener off the base of the post on 20 minutes after bringing down a long ball forward from Abdullah Saleh, and turning his marker Waleed Abdullah, to shot across goal.

A similar Saleh long-ball chested down by Lima allowed him to again pass Abdullah and tap it across goal to Caio Correa, who was waiting in the middle ready to smash home a second on 38 minutes.

Ajman’s Adeilsen de Mello hit the post before the hour after his one-on-one opportunity petered out and left him shooting from a tight angle, thanks to retreating defenders. A similar through-ball opportunity for De Mello was then struck wide with the wrong foot by the misfiring Brazilian with 15 minutes to spare.

However, the Orange Brigade eventually pulled one back on 78 minutes when Khalifa Abdullah’s cross was tapped in by Maiga. De Mello’s equaliser headed in from a freekick moments later was then ruled offside, before Maiga headed in Azizbek Haydarov’s freekick played across goal on 85 minutes.

The draw leaves Al Wasl unbeaten up to 24 games and are on the verge of equalling Al Jazira’s memorable run of 25 domestic games unbeaten — 30 if you include Asian Champions League matches — between March 2009 and January 2010.