Fardan scores two as Al Nasr close Arabian Gulf League season with victory

Al Shabab narrowly edge out Al Nasr for fourth place and chance at the final Asian Champions League (ACL) berth.
Habib Fardan, left, pictured during an Arabian Gulf League match against Baniyas in Dubai on October 26, 2013, scored twice for Al Nasr as his side finished their 2013/14 league season with a 3-0 defeat of Dubai. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Habib Fardan, left, pictured during an Arabian Gulf League match against Baniyas in Dubai on October 26, 2013, scored twice for Al Nasr as his side finished their 2013/14 league season with a 3-0 defeat of Dubai. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Al Nasr signed off on the 2013/14 season in style on Saturday with a 3-0 win at relegated Dubai, though results elsewhere dashed their hopes of reaching the Asian Champions League.

UAE international midfielder Habib Fardan led the way, scoring twice. His first came on the stroke of half time as he nodded home a Mahmoud Khamis free kick.

Five minutes after the break, Helal Saeed was fouled and Fardan converted the penalty kick. Saeed made it three on 74 minutes, heading home a corner.

In pictures: The National’s Arabian Gulf League team of the season

The result put Nasr fourth temporarily, but Al Jazira’s 1-0 win over Sharjah later in the evening ended Nasr’s hopes of Asian Champions League (ACL) football next season. The top three earn places in the 2015 ACL and fourth may, too, if Al Ahli win the President’s Cup next Sunday.

Nasr and fourth-place Al Shabab finish the season level on 44 points, though Shabab have a better goal difference. Nasr’s victory pushed Al Ain, on 43 points, down to sixth place.

On Sunday, a draw for Al Wahda against bottom team Al Shaab would be enough for them to celebrate a second-place finish in the league, and with it a spot in next year’s ACL.

The Abu Dhabi club are on a roll as they seek their sixth straight win to round off the season on a high under Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, who took over in November.

Wahda have earned 23 points out of 27 in their last nine games.

Abdulwahab Abdulqader, the Ajman coach, is targeting a win for the fans as his club end their season at home against Emirates at the Rashid bin Saeed Stadium.

Ajman and Emirates are on 25 points each, but Abdulqader’s side occupy the 10th spot since they have a better head-to-head record over their opponents.

“To finish 10 or 11 in the table will not make any difference, but we want to win this game for our fans. They have been behind us in difficult times and we owe it to them,” the Ajman coach said.

“The players, too, have been made aware of this fact and they have promised to give 100 per cent on the pitch.”

sports@thenational.ae

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Published: May 10, 2014 04:00 AM

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