Arabian Gulf Cup: Al Jazira pull off great escape against Al Dhafra

Kalba and Al Ahli pick up victories against Baniyas and Al Shabab respectively.
Al Jazira, in white, defeated Al Dhafra in Group A of the Arabian Gulf Cup on Thursday, September 29, 2016. Courtesy Arshad Khan Aboobaker / Pro League Committee
Al Jazira, in white, defeated Al Dhafra in Group A of the Arabian Gulf Cup on Thursday, September 29, 2016. Courtesy Arshad Khan Aboobaker / Pro League Committee

Al Jazira and Al Ahli both scored in added time to clinch last-minute victories over Al Dhafra and Al Shabab respectively in Round 3 of the Arabian Gulf Cup last night.

Mbark Boussoufa and Fares Juma left it late for Jazira, scoring twice in the final few minutes for their team to rally from a goal down to win 2-1 over Dhafra at the Hamdan bin Zayed Stadium. It was Dhafra’s first defeat in Group A after winning their first two matches.

Boussoufa came off the bench to head home a cross from Mussalem Fayez four minutes from time. The Moroccan then floated a long ball inside the area for Juma to time his run perfectly and head home in time added on.

Omar Kharbin had put Dhafra ahead two minutes before the break and they could have extended lead had the Western Region side been more clinical with a couple of chances they created early in the second half.

Kharbin hooked one wide from inside the area and Khalid Al Senani, the Jazira goalkeeper, did well to block a close-range shot from the Senegalese forward Makhete Diop.

Defeat for Dhafra means they dropped to second in Group A behind Al Wasl on goal difference on six points. Wasl play Al Wahda at Zabeel Stadium tonight. Jazira move up to third on four points.

In Group B, Asamoah Gyan scored twice, including an injury-time winner, in Ahli’s 3-2 win over Shabab at the Maktoum bin Rashid stadium.

Brazilian Henrique Luvannor put the home side ahead with a fourth-minute penalty. Rodrigo Lima restored parity with a spot kick of his own on 17 minutes.

Gyan gave Cosmin Olaroiu’s side the lead when found the net off a neat overhead pass from Everton Ribeiro.

Luvannor netted his second just past the hour mark. When it looked like the game was heading for a draw, Gyan rose above the opposition defence to head in a corner for his team to return with all three points.

Hamad Abdulrahman and Bakary Kone scored either side of half time to get Kalba off the mark against a Baniyas side who finished the match with 10 men.

Mark Milligan, the Australian midfielder, was booked twice within three minutes to leave them a player less nine minutes into the game.​

Ahli top the group on six points ahead of Shabab, while Baniays remain bottom.

apassela@thenational.ae

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Published: September 29, 2016 04:00 AM

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