DUBAI // Al Dhafra brought Al Shabab's nine-match unbeaten run in the Pro League to an end last night with an impressive 2-0 victory. Bandar Mohammed and Ali Al Hammadi scored either side of the break to help Dhafra return home with three points.
The win takes their tally to 21 points, while Shabab remain in fifth on 30 points.
"This is a really good result for Dhafra and we are so happy today," said Laurent Banide, the Dhafra coach.
"Shabab are a big team, but we had done our preparations and hopefully we will continue to perform like this in the upcoming matches."
Shabab looked a little wobbly in defence at the start and were a goal down in the 39th minute when Bandar broke through the defence cordon and side-flicked the ball past the goalkeeper Salem Abdulla.
The visitors doubled their advantage in the 55th minute when Al Hammadi, playing with bandaged head following a collision with Luiz Henrique in the first half, out sprinted three Shabab defenders and slotted the ball home.
The goal jolted Shabab out of their slumbers and there was a lot more urgency in their play, but Dhafra were firmly in control.
They were unfortunate not to get their third in the 76th minute when Rodrigo Souza Silva hit the crossbar.
This is Shabab's first defeat in the Pro League since their 2-1 loss at Al Jazira in the eighth round and Marcos Paqueta conceded his team had made a poor start.
"We were really bad in the first half," the Shabab coach said.
"We had possession, but just couldn't create any chances. We played better in the second half, but still failed to score. It was not our day and if we had continued playing for two more days, I don't think the result would be any different. But no, we did not underestimate Dhafra; we just played a bad game.
"Dhafra are a difficult team, but unfortunately they are not allowed to play their full team against certain opponents because of the transfer agreements between them. I don't think this is a good thing for the league."
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