Ruben Filipe nets late winner for Al Wahda to beat Al Dhafra in five-goal thriller

Abu Dhabi club consolidate second spot behind leaders Al Ain in Adnoc Pro League

Al Wahda, maroon, defeated Al Dhafra 3-2 in the Adnoc Pro League at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Friday, April 22, 2022. Photo: PLC
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Ruben Filipe netted an injury-time goal for Al Wahda to clinch a 3-2 victory over Al Dhafra in the Adnoc Pro League at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Friday.

The result helped the Abu Dhabi club close the gap on leaders Al Ain to four points in second spot.

Guilherme Vieira put Dhafra in front on 19 minutes, with the Brazilian finding the back of the net from a powerful strike after Waleed Ambar got past Wahda defenders Mahmoud Khamis and Majed Abdulla and sent a low cross inside the area.

Ismail Matar swung in a brilliant cross into Dhafra's six-yard box for Khalil Ibrahim to head home the equaliser seven minutes later.

Fabio Martins then delivered a fine cross for Adrien Silva who towered above Pedro Pavlov to beat the Dhafra goalkeeper Abdullah Al Nasri and put Wahda in front at half time.

Dhafra restored parity when Mohamed Al Jneibi intercepted Vieira's pass before beating goalkeeper Mohammed Al Shamsi with a clinical right-footed finish on 58 minutes.

When it looked like Dhafra had done enough to return with a point, Wahda struck. Filipe picked up the ball on the left-wing, and smashed it from the edge of the area to seal victory in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Kalba came back twice from behind to share a point with Al Nasr in a 2-2 home draw in the other game on the night.

The match came alive in the last quarter after Diaa Sabia broke the deadlock on the 70th minute as Sebastian Tagliabue to set him up with a fine through pass.

However, their joy was cut short when Ahmed Jashk was brought down inside the box four minutes later, prompting the referee to point to the spot. Togolese forward Peniel Mlapa stepped forward and fired in the equaliser.

Kalba defender Abdulaziz Hamad was then penalised for a handball and Nasr’s Portuguese midfielder Toze stepped up to the penalty spot to regain the lead on 84 minutes.

Hamad was determined to make amends and he did so in style, pouncing on a loose clearance 35 yards out to clinch the equaliser two minutes from time.

Updated: April 23, 2022, 10:56 AM
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