Miralem Pjanic marks debut in UAE with goal and assist for Sharjah

Ali Mabkhout nets hat-trick to lead Al Jazira to victory at Khor Fakkan in Adnoc Pro League

Sharjah’s new signing Miralem Pjanic, left, scored on his debut in a 3-0 win over Baniyas in the Adnoc Pro League at the Sharjah Stadium on Friday, September 9, 2022. Photo: PLC
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Miralem Pjanic, Sharjah’s new signing from Barcelona, made an immediate impact on his debut in the Adnoc Pro League with a goal and an assist in his team’s 3-0 thrashing of Baniyas on Friday.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina international set up Sharjah’s opening goal with a splendid cross for Salem Sultan to pave the way for Francisco Alcacer to open the scoring on 15 minutes.

Pjanic, 32, doubled the lead from a spot kick after Alcacer was brought down inside the area by Khalid Mohammed Hashemi and Luan Pereira found the net three minutes before the break as Sharjah maintained their perfect start in the league.

“I came here with the intention of playing for a long time and help my new team win titles,” Pjanic, who counts 107 international appearances for his country, said of his first appearance for Sharjah.

“I have achieved that with many clubs I played for and I want to do the same at Sharjah,” the winner of four Serie A titles added.

Al Jazira too kept their perfect start to the season courtesy of a hat-trick from star striker Ali Mabkhout.

The UAE international was on target with two spot kicks before completing the hat-trick from the top of the box in a 4-2 victory over Khor Fakkan at the Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qassimi Stadium.

Salim Ali Al Hammadi curled in a free kick to put the home side ahead in added time of the first half. Jazira’s Romanian forward Florin Tanase struck the equaliser from close range two minutes into the second half.

Mabkhout, who was brought down by Al Hammadi inside the area, then stepped forward to score the first of his two penalties to give Jazira the lead on the hour.

That lead, however, was short lived as Aylton Filipe connected a pass from Khalaf Al Hosani to level the scores six minutes later before Makhbout completed the job for the visitors.

“To win the first two games obviously is a good start for us and looking forward to take this momentum forward,” Jazira captain and goalkeeper Ali Kashief said.

“It was a hard game as we had to come back from a goal down and again after Khor Fakkan levelled the scores. We were fortunate as we scored from the chances we created for the win.”

Shabab Al Ahli rallied from a goal down to win at Dibba 2-1 and Al Wasl overcame promoted Al Bataeh 2-1.

Updated: September 10, 2022, 4:05 AM