Al Ahli proved there was to be no hangover from last week’s AFC Champions League heroics as they refocused their attentions on the Arabian Gulf League, powering to a 3-1 victory away at Al Wahda in Round 6. A brace from Everton Ribeiro and a goal from Rodrigo Lima made it 12 points from a possible 12 for Al Ahli, who have two games in hand and a perfect winning start to the season, whilst Jorge Valdivia’s consolation goal was not enough for Al Wahda, who stay on 7 points.
After a relatively placid opening to the game, it was Al Ahli who livened proceedings up by netting the opening goal in the 28th minute; Everton Ribeiro’s cross curling in at the far post without getting a touch from any of the bodies in the box to give the visitors a 1-0 lead, which they carried into the break. Four minutes after the resumption of play, Al Wahda were not far from finding an equaliser as Ismaeil Matar’s free kick whistled past the post with the aid of a deflection, and from the resulting corner Denilson struck the base of the post with a shot. But in the 61st minute Al Ahli pulled further in front as Rodrigo Lima’s scoring streak continued; Everton Ribeiro turning provider this time, robbing Hamdan Al Kamali before squaring for his compatriot, who readjusted his feet before slotting the ball into an empty net for his fifth goal in four League appearances this season. Lima then returned the favour with a sublime chipped pass for Ribeiro in the 72nd minute, and the tricky attacker volleyed the ball with the inside of his right foot to net his second of the game and put Al Ahli 3-0 up. In the 78th minute Al Wahda pulled a goal back through a fine individual effort from the magical Chilean forward Jorge Valdivia – his first goal since returning to the UAE at the start of the season – and four minutes later a low, drilled free kick from Hamdan Al Kamali rebounded back off the base of the post as Al Wahda threatened to cut the deficit further. But the last goal of the game was a mere consolation as Al Ahli saw out a 3-1 victory in Abu Dhabi.
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