Baniyas and Emirates keep alive hopes of staying up in AGL.
Barada’s equaliser earns share of points for Al Nasr against Baniyas
It took just one goal, and an early one at that, for Al Shabab to defeat Al Dhafra and end a seven-game winless run in the Arabian Gulf League yesterday. Saad Khamis picked up a through pass in the 15th minute, out-ran two Dhafra defenders and sent the ball past charging goalkeeper Abdulla Sultan Al Nasri to score the only goal of the game at Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium.
Dhafra tried desperately for the equaliser but were met with an impregnable home team defence. Victory means Shabab are now just three points behind Dhafra, who are in seventh, with two rounds left to play.
Khamis was playing in only his fifth AGL game of the season but was not showing it as the 22-year-old Emirati forward kept a cool head on the pitch. “Thank God I managed to score the all-important goal and win the game for my team,” said Khamis, who was picked to play in place of the injured Brazilian Luvannor Henrique.
“It had been a frustrating period for our team without a win in seven games, and I’m glad I was able to contribute to the win.”
It all happened very quickly, according to Khamis, who regardless, will remember the moment for a long time, particularly “as it was my first league goal and more importantly to win the match.
“I hope we can take this winning formula forward and round off the season on a high note. “It was a tough game and we had to fight until the end to achieve this result. When you lead by just one goal, you never know what will happen until the end of the game.
“Obviously, it was an excellent team effort. And I wouldn’t have scored if it wasn’t for my teammates.”
Elsewhere around the league last night, Baniyas and Emirates lived to fight another day in their relegation struggle.
Baniyas returned with a point from Al Nasr after a 2-2 draw at Al Maktoum Stadium when Abdelaziz Barada struck for the home side seven minutes from time. Jassim Yaqoob put Nasr in front on the stroke of half time.
Harry Novillo levelled the score on 49 minutes and Ezekiel Henty headed home from a corner on 69 minutes to put the visitors ahead. Emirates triumphed 3-2 over
Kalba, another team battling relegation.
They took a two-goal lead at half time, courtesy Mourad Batna and Osman Sow.
Ciel pulled one back two minutes into the second period.
Batna regained the two-goal cushion before Ciel reduced the gap with his second in added time.
Fabio de Lima and Caio Canedo netted a goal each on either side of half time to power Al
Wasl to a 2-0 win over Dibba, the fourth team fighting the drop.