Pjanic scores again as Sharjah maintain perfect start but Taarabt debut ends in defeat

Al Jazira held by 10-man Baniyas in a dramatic 1-1 draw while Al Wasl edge Al Nasr in Dubai Derby

Caio Lucas opens the scoring for Sharjah in their 3-0 win over Khor Fakkan in the Adnoc Pro League at the Sharjah Stadium. PLC
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Miralem Pjanic continued his bright start to life at Sharjah after scoring the third goal in the 3-0 win over Khor Fakkan on Saturday as the club maintained their perfect start to the Adnoc Pro League season.

Pjanic, signed on a free transfer this summer from Barcelona, added the shine on a comfortable win for the table-toppers after Caio Lucas and Luan Pereira had put Sharjah in control. It was the Bosnian's second goal in three games, having scored on his debut against Baniyas.

Cozmin Olaroiu’s men took their tally to a perfect 12 points from four games to move two clear of Al Jazira, who let victory against Baniyas slip at the death following Sasa Ivkovic’s injury time equaliser.

Caio opened the scoring for Sharjah with a stunning long-range right footer on 16 minutes, with Pereira doubling the lead shortly after half time when the Khor Fakkan goalkeeper Ahmed Al Hosani fumbled from a corner kick that deflected off the Brazilian into the back of the net.

Pjanic then added the third when he fired home on 59 minutes from a move set-up by Pereira inside the area.

At the Baniyas stadium, the hosts earned with a valuable point after a dramatic final few minutes.

Ali Mabkhout scored from the spot two minutes from time to put Jazira in front, and it appeared Marcel Keizer’s men had done enough to return with full points when Baniyas struck in the last move of the match.

Taarabt debut ends in defeat

Adel Taarabt made his debut for Al Nasr on Saturday but ended up on the losing side as Gabriel De Souza’s brace gave Al Wasl a 2-1 win at Al Maktoum Stadium.

Taarabt, 33 who has played for Tottenham Hotspur, AC Milan and Benfica, signed a two-year deal with Nasr last week and will hope to be part of the Morocco squad at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

De Souza was on target off a move created by Tomas Chancalay after 20 minutes and the pair combined again for the Brazilian to double the lead with a clinical finish shortly after the interval.

Wasl were reduced to 10-men when Faris Khalil was booked for the second time in the 70th minute and Nasr pulled one back through their Portuguese midfielder Toze from the ensuing free kick. However, the hosts were unable to find the equaliser.

Elsewhere, Waleed Azaro netted twice after Isam Faiz opened the scoring to give Ajman their first win of the league season with a 3-1 victory at Dibba. Joey Sleegers stuck a consolation goal for the hosts, who remain winless from four games.

Updated: October 03, 2022, 4:42 AM