Arabian Gulf round-up: Al Nasr remain unbeaten thanks to Ivan Trickovski

Jires Kembo-Ekoko converted a penalty kick in injury time to lift Al Ain to a victory over Al Shabab while Emirates push past Al Wahda.

Ivan Trickovski of Al Nasr scored twice on Tuesday to push his team to their third win of the Arabian Gulf Cup. Courtesy Al Ittihad
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Al Nasr maintained their perfect record in the Arabian Gulf Cup on Tuesday as two goals from Ivan Trickovski guided them to a 2-1 victory against 10-man Ajman.

Nasr have four wins from four games in Group A and Tuesday’s success has strengthened further their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

Nasr had started strongly with Helal Saeed striking the bar with an early effort and they were rewarded for their early endeavours to take the lead after eight minutes, as Trickovski headed home a Mahmoud Khamis ­corner.

Things could have got even better for Nasr as Ibrahima Toure found the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside, while Ajman goalkeeper Ali Mesmari did well to keep out a well struck free kick from Mahmoud Khamis.

The second goal did come for Nasr eight minutes after the restart as Trickovski netted from close range.

Ajman cut the deficit back to one five minutes later when Driss Fettouhi scored with a free kick.

But their hopes of a fightback were dented when captain Boris Kabi was red carded for a late tackle on Esam Dhahi and Nasr cruised through the closing minutes to secure victory.

Second-placed Al Shabab in Group A played Al Ain on Tuesday night and the Garden City club pulled out a thrilling 3-2 victory.

Jires Kembo-Ekoko converted a penalty kick in injury time to push Al Ain to a win after Al Shabab’s Edgar Silva levelled the score with help from Abdulla Faraj Marzouq in the 85th minute. Kembo-Ekoko assisted the second of two goals from Miroslav Stoch. The Slovakian scored in the first half and then put his team ahead 15 minutes after the break. Carlos Villanueva also found the net for Shabab.

Elsewhere Tuesday, Emirates picked up their first win of the competition in Group B as they defeated Al Wahda 3-1, moving off the bottom of the table in the process.

Mohammed Malalla, Essam Errak and Luiz Henrique all scored for Emirates, with Abdulla Alnobi scoring the consolation goal for Wahda, who remain winless in the competition as they continue to fail to transfer into the cup the form that has made them league title contenders.

In Wednesday night’s action in the competition, the main focus is on the top of Group B, with leaders Sharjah to play host to second-placed Al Dhafra.

Neither side has yet to taste defeat in the competition, with Sharjah’s total of eight points having come from four games, compared to Dhafra’s seven from three games.

With only the top two from each group qualifying for the semi-finals, neither Baniyas and Al Ahli, who are in third and fourth places respectively, can afford to drop points when they play each other Wednesday night, with Baniyas having home advantage,

Wednesday’s other match is in Group A and sees Al Wasl and Al Jazira, who have both failed to impress and have only one win each, going up against each other at Dubai’s Zabeel Stadium.

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