Khater steps up to the plate in style

Subait Khater rates his double strike for Al Jazira against Al Wasl on Friday night as one of the most cherished moments of his career.

ABU DHABI // Subait Khater rates his double strike for Al Jazira on Friday night as one of the most cherished moments of his career. The two goals helped his team to come from behind to win 2-1 at home against Al Wasl. The Emirati midfielder scored a free kick and a 30-yard screamer five minutes from time to help his club maintain their lead at the top of the table, taking their tally to 29 points, five more than neighbours Al Wahda, who face Al Nasr tonight (KO 8pm).

Khater had to take responsibility in the absence of the injured foreign trio, the Brazilians Ricardo Oliveira and Marcio Rozario, and Ivorian striker Tony. He said: "The goals were special because I was able to contribute as a senior pro, and the three points were important to maintain our lead at the top of the table. We were a goal down and were without the three foreign players, so it was something I can look back on and enjoy."

Jazira's winning goal came a minute after the Wasl's Brazilian forward Alexandre Oliveira was sent off for his second booking, and he was joined by Ali Mahmoud in injury time for a clumsy tackle on Mohammed Qasim. Oliveira had put the visitors ahead in the 48th minute. Tonight, Wahda travel to Ajman to play Al Nasr at a neutral venue. Nasr were handed a two-match stadium ban for the misbehaviour of their fans, who threw bottles and slippers at the match officials in a match against Al Ahli.

The Dubai club will also miss Ecuadorian striker Carlos Tenorio, who scored five goals in a 6-4 win over Al Dhafra last week. Tenorio was given a two-match ban for butting a Dhafra player. Dhafra, meanwhile, have released their Nigerian defen-der Kenneth Ikwugbado halfway through his three-year-contract. They meet Ahli in the early game (KO 5.15pm). Baniyas bounced back from their 6-1 loss to Al Ain by beating Emirate 2-1 away last night.

apassela@thenational.ae

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