Ali Mabkhout closed in on the scoring record of Fahd Khamis with his 174th goal as Al Jazira clinched a 1-0 win over Al Orooba in the Adnoc Pro League at the Mohamed bin Zayed stadium on Tuesday.
The Emirati international striker fired a spot kick in the 70th minute for the defending champions to bounce back from their first league defeat at Sharjah last week.
Mabkhout, 30, began his career in Jazira’s first team in the 2008-2009 season. He is also level with Brazilian great Pele on 77 international goals.
“My main aim is to score for the team and win matches, but if a record comes along the way, I’m glad to take it,” Mabkhout said.
“It was a very tough game against Al Orooba. They were on the back of three draws, and they were remarkable in the last game against Al Ain when they rallied from three goals down to finish that match in a 3-3 result.
“For us, the three points was the most important after losing our first league game to Sharjah. So, it was a good result for us.”
The three points took Jazira’s tally to 13 points and join leaders Al Ain who meet Al Wahda at the Hazza bin Zayed stadium on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Al Wasl ended Shabab Al Ahli’s unbeaten run at the Zabeel stadium.
Michel Araujo netted the winner on 71 minutes after combining with Ramiro and William Pottker to give Wasl their second win and take their tally to nine points.
Kalba returned with a point from Al Dhafra at the Hamdan bin Zayed stadium. Habib Fardan put Kalba ahead on 17 minutes before Hamdan Mohammed’s equaliser for the home team on 66 minutes.