Al Jazira start AGL season in fine form on Ali Mabkhout’s double against Al Wasl

UAE sharpshooter Ali Mabkhout struck either side of half-time and Al Jazira toppled Al Wasl 3-1 on Saturday in their Arabian Gulf League opener.

Al Jazira striker Ali Mabkhout shown celebrating a goal in the President's Cup triumph final back in May. Pawan Singh / The National
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Al Jazira 3-1 Al Wasl

Jazira: Mabkhout 15’, Farfan 48’, Mabkhout 49’

Wasl: Salmin 35’

Man of the match: Ali Mabkhout (Jazira)

ABU DHABI // Ali Mabkhout struck on either side of half-time and Al Jazira opened their Arabian Gulf League campaign with a resounding 3-1 triumph over Al Wasl on Saturday night at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

Mohammed Fawzi, who moved to Jazira in the summer after spells at Baniyas and Al Ain, sent a bouncing cross for Mabkhout to connect with a diving header for a 15th minute lead.

Ali Salmin fired home a poor clearance from a corner for the visitors to draw level 10 minutes before half-time.

Jazira struck twice within a minute after the break. Jefferson Farfan knocked in a left cross from Mbark Boussoufa and Thiago Neves split the defence for Mabkhout to find the net.

Mabkhout, the leading Emirati scorer in the league with 23 goals last season, was unlucky to miss out on a hat-trick.

The Emirati international’s close range effort after taking play inside the area crashed against the near post on 55 minutes. He was also denied a couple times in the first half by the good work of Rashed Ali, the Wasl goalkeeper.

From the onset, Jazira looked the better side on the night. They enjoyed a major share of the possession and were the more creative, and could have piled on the early lead had Mabkhout and Farfan been on target from opportunities that came their way.

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