Round 6 of the Arabian Gulf League saw the end of one unbeaten run, and the continuation of 3 others, as things stay tight at both the top and the bottom of the table.
Al Nasr recovered from going an early goal down at Dibba to win 2-1, maintaining their unbeaten start to the season thanks to comeback goals from Salem Saleh and Jires Kembo-Ekoko. The important win keeps The Blues on pace at the top end of the table, sitting 2nd with 14 points, whilst Dibba stay on 4 points in the midst of their difficult first seven fixtures.
Later on Friday night, Al Ain ensured the retention of first place in the table with a thumping 4-1 win at Al Shabab, bringing The Hawks’ undefeated start to a crashing end. Omar Abdulrahman opened the scoring inside the first minute, after which Fellipe Bastos netted a brace and Emmanuel Emenike scored from the spot to treble the number of goals conceded by Al Shabab all season. Al Ain sit atop the table with 15 points, whilst Al Shabab slip down in the standings and remain on 9.
Al Ahli returned to domestic action on Sunday night following their historical AFC Champions League semi-final victory, and there was no slacking off as they cruised to a 3-1 away win at Al Wahda to continue their 100% win record in the League – the only team not to have dropped any points thus far, with two games in hand. Their perfect 12 points puts them in 3rd place despite having played fewer AGL fixtures than any other team this term, whilst Al Wahda suffered their third defeat and stay on 3 points. Al Ahli striker Rodrigo Lima now has 5 League goals to his name, whilst Everton Ribeiro’s double propelled him up the scoring charts with 4.
Al Wasl recorded the biggest win of the round, handing out a 5-1 thrashing to Fujairah at the Zabeel Stadium; Fujairah’s second heavy defeat of the season. Fabio de Lima and Edgar Bruno both scored braces after Caio Canedo’s opening goal, firing Al Wasl onto 9 points with their third victory – and first at home – of the season.
In the Abu Dhabi derby, Bani Yas came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at home with Al Jazira, keeping up their undefeated League start with 12 points. Al Jazira had mounted the lead through goals from Park Jong Woo and Mirko Vucinic, but they let it slip as Ishak Belfodil and Joaquin Larrivey hit back in the second half to earn a point.
Sharjah ended up with the bragging rights after the local derby with Al Shaab, beating their fierce rivals 2-0 to claim their first League victory of the season. Taking a positive step away from the danger zone thanks to an own goal from Celio dos Santos and a wonderstrike from Muhain Khalifa, Sharjah now have 4 points, whilst Al Shaab remain rooted to the bottom with just 1 point from their opening 6 fixtures.
Five first-half goals between Al Dhafra and Emirates at the Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Stadium saw the visitors from Ras Al Khaimah run out 3-2 winners, despite a late red card for goalkeeper Ahmed Alshaji. A brace from youngster Waleed Ambar and a goal from Haitham Ali earned all three points for Emirates, despite fightback attempts from David Barral Torres and Makhete Diop, as Al Dhafra stay in search of their first win in the League this season and Emirates move on to 7 points.
Changes made following cancellation of Gulf Cup
Al Ahli, Al Nasr & Bani Yas stay unbeaten but Al Ain remain top
Red Knights march on with 100% winning start to the season