UAE Arabian Gulf League: Al Ain Savors Defeat As Al-Dafra Win; Al-Wasl shares spoils with Al-Wahda

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Peniel Mlapa, Makhete Diop and Fabio Lima scored doublets for their respective sides

Al-Ittihad recorded a resounding 3-0 win over Fujairah thanks to a superlative second-half performance away from home in the Arab Gulf League (AGL) on Matchday 18.

Meanwhile, Al-Dhafra stunned heavyweights Al-Ain 2-1 at Al-Dhafra Stadium. Whereas, Al Wasl had to settle for a point after drawing 2-2 with Al Wahda at Zabeel Stadium.

Ittihad Mlapa in good shape

Just before the half-time break, Peniel Mlapa opened the scoring from Ittihad’s point of view after the referee spotted a hand inside the box. They didn’t have to wait long for their second goal, as in eight minutes of the second half, Mohamed Sabeel scored the goal for sure.

Ittihad continued his dominance and it was the heroism of goalkeeper Saleh Rabei that prevented Fujairah from being humiliated. However, Rabei couldn’t stop Mlapa from scoring the second of the night in the 87th minute that he had been in good shape throughout the match.

Bani Yas takes a breath as Al-Ain loses

Whereas, Al-Ain couldn’t keep up the pressure on Bani Yas for third place as they fell rather unusually to tenth ranked Al Dhafra. Makhete Diop scored in each half at Hamdan Bin Zayed Stadium to earn three valuable points for his team.

In the 34th minute, the Senegalese striker broke the deadlock when he shot into the bottom corner of the net beyond the goalkeeper’s reach. Al-Ain began to play with more determination after conceding and in the 50th minute he tied from the point through Laba Kodjo.

Seven minutes later, the hosts got a penalty, but could not take advantage of it when Pedro Conde’s shot hit the post. But Al-Ain remained generous in giving away penalties, and this time Diop bore the responsibility with the utmost precision.

This victory ended Al-Dhafra’s seven-match winless streak and he now has 20 points in his kitty.

Al-Wasl’s Fabio Lima temporarily displaces Ali Mabkhout in the golden boot race

In the third match, Fabio Lima was the star of Al Wasl, scoring two goals to temporarily rise to the top of the scorers table with 16 goals to his name. Lima was quick to give his team the lead when he scored from 12 yards in the eighth minute. But, Wahda’s Myung-joo Lee erased the deficit with three minutes left to change the dynamics of the game.

Al-Wahda was reduced to 10 men when Rubén Amaral was sent off for a rash challenge and Lima regained the lead from the spot. However, Vuk Rasovic’s men showed character and found the equalizer in the 82nd minute through Omar Khribin.

Positions

After a 3-0 win, Al-Ittihad is in ninth place with 26 points, while Fujairah looks towards the relegation zone as it is in 12th place with 10 points.

AL-Ain continues in fourth place with 30 points, while Al-Dhafra is 10th with 20 points.

After the tie, Al Wasl and Al-Wahda have 28 points from 18 games. However, thanks to a better matchup, Al Wahda is ranked seventh and Al Wasl eighth.

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