Adnoc Pro League wrap: Shabab Al Ahli take over at top as Mabkhout hits two for Al Jazira

Narrow win over Dubai rivals Al Wasl means Shabab have two-point lead over Al Wahda

Ali Mabkhout scored two for Al Jazira in their win over Al Bataeh in the Adnoc Pro League. – PLC
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Shabab Al Ahli are now the sole leaders at the top of the Adnoc Pro League after a 2-1 win over Dubai rivals Al Wasl, after Al Wahda could only draw 2-2 with Khor Fakkan

Action in the UAE had resumed after a 38-day break for the Qatar World Cup and Shabab were able to move into a two-point lead at the top over Abu Dhabi side Al Wahda.

Story of the round

Matchday 11 kicked off on Monday with Shabab Al Ahli fighting back from going an early goal down to seal three points at Zabeel Stadium.

Gilberto gave Wasl a fifth-minute lead but their joy was short lived as Yousef Jaber struck the equaliser just four minutes later. Igor Jesus then put the visitors in front after 20 minutes which turned out to be the winning goal.

Al Jazira, Ajman and Dibba all celebrated on their return to action with away victories.

Ali Mabkhout fired two early goals to set-up Jazira’s 4-2 triumph over Al Bataeh. The UAE international opened the scoring in the fifth minute and the doubled the lead from the spot midway through the first half.

Anatole Bertrand closed the gap on the half-hour mark, with the first of his two goals, only for Khalfan Mubarak to restore his team's two-goal cushion in first-half injury time.

Bertrand netted his second of the match on 72 minutes before Zayed Al Ameri sealed the game deep into injury time.

Ben Alarbi struck the only goal of the game from the penalty spot four minutes before time as Ajman defeated bottom club Al Dhafra and move up to fifth in the table.

Newly-promoted Dibba picked up their first win of the season and move off the bottom spot thanks to a first-half finish from Ibrahim Saeed Al Yaquobi against Al Nasr.

On Tuesday, Khor Fakkan snatched a thrilling draw against Wahda while Sharjah thrashed Kalba 4-0. In the late game, Al Ain were held by Baniyas 2-2 at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

Wahda trailed Khor Fakkan for most of the match after Aylton Filipe had put the visiting side ahead after three minutes but it was not until the 90th minute that the real drama began.

Joao Pedro levelled the scores when he towered above Khor Fakkan's defence to head in Luis Miguel's cross, before Sebastian Tagliabue turned the game on its head when he scored from inside the area six minutes into injury time to seemingly hand Wahda the points.

But, two minutes later, Yousef Al Ameri then struck when he volleyed a cross from the left to salvage a draw for Khor Fakkan.

Sharjah were very impressive on their return from the break against Kalba. Ousmane Camara opened the scoring in the first-half, before Luan Pereira, Miralem Pjanic and Caio Lucas all struck after the break to complete the rout.

Baniyas returned with a valuable away point against Al Ain. Andrii Yarmolenko opened the scoring from a low shot in the 28th minute after capping off a fine counter-attack started by Kodjo Laba and the final assist provided by Soufian Rahimi.

The lead was short-lived, though, as Nicolas Gimenez levelled for Baniyas three minutes later when Al Ain's defence failed to clear the ball, and it fell to the Argentine midfielder who fired a powerful strike into the top corner.

Al Mahdi Al Mubarak's own goal then put the visitors the lead when he converted a cross into his own net in the 36th minute.

The hosts piled on the pressure after the break and were awarded a penalty after Bandar Al Ahbabi was pulled down inside the box by Baniyas midfielder Opa Nguette. Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba fired the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.

Player of the round: Ali Mabkhout (Al Jazira)

The Jazira and UAE international marksman moved on top of the Pro League scoring chart with his 11th goal in 10 games. He opened the scoring when he rounded Bataeh goalkeeper Zayed Ahmed before finishing from a tight angle. His second, from the penalty spot, put his team into an early 2-0 lead.

Manager of the round: Abdulaziz Al Anbari (Khor Fakkan)

The former UAE international, who led Sharjah to the Pro League title for the first time in 23 years in 2019, guided his team to a battling draw against Wahda after two late goals left his team on the brink of defeat - until Al Ameri's goal in the eighth minute of injury time.

Goal of the round: Khalfan Mubarak (Al Jazira)

After an early assist for teammate Ali Mabkhout, the diminutive midfielder struck one of the most outrageous goals of the season to cement his side’s two-goal advantage a minute into the second half. Mubarak caught the Al Bataeh keeper Ahmed off his line with a beautiful left-footed finish.

Updated: December 21, 2022, 7:12 AM