Abu Dhabi derby ends a stalemate as hosts Al Wahda spurn too many chances

Star striker Sebastian Tagliabue was just a little too imprecise on Friday night and Al Jazira found a second-half equaliser to steal a point in the first capital derby of the season.
Al Jazira are fourth with four points after two matches, while Al Wahda are seventh with two. Arshad Khan / AGL / September 23, 2016
Al Jazira are fourth with four points after two matches, while Al Wahda are seventh with two. Arshad Khan / AGL / September 23, 2016

Al Wahda 1-1 Al Jazira

WAH: Suhail Al Mansoori 38’

JAZ: Fares Juma 72’

Story of the match

ABU DHABI // For the second time in two games Al Wahda surrendered a first half lead to city rivals Al Jazira to settle for a point.

These two sides played out a 2-2 draw in the Arabian Gulf Cup opener earlier this month, and last night, they again shared the points in a league encounter at the Al Nahyan stadium.

Wahda only had themselves to blame for the result after failing to score from a number of chances created in a dominant first half.

Suhail Al Mansoori broke the deadlock for Wahda as the hosts went into the break with a deserved lead, before Fares Juma rose to head home the equaliser for Jazira.

The result leaves Wahda still searching for their first win of the season following two cup and two league games.

Al Mansoori scored the opener after collecting a pass from Ahmed Rashid, and finishing beyond Ali Kasheif, the Jazira goalkeeper.

Wahda should have doubled their lead when Sebastian Tagliabue saw his sliding effort from an Al Mansoori cross cannon off the crossbar. Argentine Tagliabue, last season’s top scorer with 25 goals, had several more chances to put Wahda further in front but was uncharacteristically off target.

Ali Mabkhout had a golden chance to win the game late on for Jazira only to flick his close-range header just beyond the post.

Man of the match

Al Mansoori was a constant threat to the Jazira defence. The Emirati made several good breaks down the left flank and scored Wahda’s only goal.

What they said

Javier Aguirre, Wahda: “We had plenty of chances to close the game but for some strange reason we couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net. Then we conceded a goal from a set piece. I’m happy with the way we played but not the result. It’s quite strange to see a player like Tagliabue miss so many chances but then this is not unusual in football. I am sure he will overcome this difficult period and score for us again.”

Henk ten Cate, Jazira: “It was a game of two halves. We didn’t play well in the first half but came back strongly in the second half. It wasn’t a good game but I’ll take this result as a positive. Wahda made all the play and all the running in the first half, and they obviously ran out of gas in the second half under such testing weather conditions. I think we persevered and had a good second half, and could have even won, had we taken the chances we created.”

The National verdict

Jazira seem to be shaping up well as a genuine title challenger along with champions Al Ahli, Al Ain and Al Nasr. They were impressive in their 2-0 win over Al Wasl and came from a goal down to salvage the draw against Wahda.

Elsewhere

• Just-signed Song Jin-hyung scored only four minutes into his Sharjah career, with the Korean spurring a 4-0 rout of Hatta. Fellow newcomer Adrian Mierzejewski bookended goals by Jamal Maroof and Muhain Khalifa as Sharjah collected their first three points of the young campaign. It was a stinging rebuke for promoted Hatta, who admirably worked a draw in their opener against Al Wahda.

• Al Shabab secured their second successive 2-1 victory to start the new season, as Tomas De Vincenti scored seven minutes to open things up and Ruud Bojmans found a winner on 62 minutes. Bakary Kone had levelled in the first half for hosts Kalba, who managed an away win over Dibba last week.

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Published: September 23, 2016 04:00 AM

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