And on Day 2, order is restored

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After a pair of upsets on opening night, the Pro League gave us a pair of formful games Friday night on what was a particularly sweltering August evening.

Sharjah needed 45 minutes to get in sync before routing newly promoted Kalba, 3-0.

And Al Jazira dominated play in a 3-0 victory over Al Nasr of Dubai.

Both results were expected. As opposed to Thursday night's matches: Al Dhafra 2, Al Ahli 0 and Al Wasl 2, Al Wahda 0.

Sharjah was led by the Brazilian forward Marcelo Oliveira, who scored two goals, the game's first and the third. Kalba showed a bit of gumption early, but was overwhelmed by the end.

It technically was Kalba's home match, but as my colleague, Ahmed Rizvi, noted earlier on this blog, the game was shifted to the Al Nasr Club pitch in Dubai because Kalba's field is not ready for a game.

Kalba, in case you didn't know, is an enclave of Sharjah located on the Indian Ocean, just north of Oman and south (and east) of Fujairah.

The Al Jazira game really demonstrated how thoroughly sapping the heat was. (According to, 34 degrees but "felt like" 45 in the second half.) Players from both sides seemed to fall down at the slightest provocation, not necessarily because they were trying to get fouls called but because, it seemed through TV, they wanted to give everyone a minute or two of rest and a chance to drink a quart of water.

Al Jazira held the ball almost throughout, and got goals from Khalid Sabeel in the 31st minute, from Abdullah Mousa in the 75th (a nice dribble through two defenders and a low, hard shot inside the far post) and from Ahmed Jumaa in extra time.

Sabeel and Jumaa each scored nice goals, too. Sabeel's was a left-footed blast from distance after he intercepted an errant clearance ... and Jumaa's was a stretching, sliding, highly athletic tap-in as he extended his leg and redirected a cross into the goal.

Jumaa commemorated his goal with a complicated and lengthy celebration that may have included him pantomiming pouring and serving coffee. Whatever it was, it entertained his new teammate, Matias Delgado, the Argentine obtained from Turkish club Besiktas earlier in the week. Delgado flashed a broad smile as Jumaa did his thing and the TV cameras caught both of them.
So, Jazira, which has never won a championship, sits at the top of the standings with Sharjah, which has won five titles -- but none since 1996.

The first week of play concludes Saturday night, with Al Ain at home against Dubai and Al Shabab home against Baniyas. Both games begin at 10pm.