Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
A complete teamwork, including a hat-trick by Grafite, second from right, saw Al Ahli come out triumphant over Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
A complete teamwork, including a hat-trick by Grafite, second from right, saw Al Ahli come out triumphant over Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

Dubai 3 Al Ahli 6

Grafite struck his fourth hat-trick of the season for Al Ahli as Dubai's slump stretches to four losses in a row, writes Ahmed Rizvi.

DUBAI // Hands on his hips, occasionally in his pockets, Rene Marsiglia looked baffled as he paced the sidelines with a distant and disturbed look. By the end of the game, he must have been a heartbroken man as well.

For the past two weeks, the Frenchman has been trying to find solutions for Dubai's sudden dip in form, but his team's performance in a 6-3 loss to Al Ahli on Friday suggests he will have to spend a few more sleepless nights before he finds answers.

Dubai were completely outplayed as Grafite scored a hat-trick his fourth of the Pro League this season and Luis Jimenez struck two and Ricardo Quaresma one. Adnan Hussain had a part to play in five of those goals.

This was the fourth consecutive Pro League defeat for Marsiglia's men and all of them have been by big margins: 5-0 at Baniyas, 3-0 against Al Wahda and then 4-1 at Al Nasr.

In the first half of the Pro League, the same team had come back with a 2-1 win from Al Wahda and 1-1 draws at Ahli and Al Jazira. Marsiglia has been struggling to put a finger on the causes of the slump.

Perhaps it is Richard Porta's lean times. The Australian striker scored eight goals in Dubai's first nine matches, but he failed to get on the score sheet for the next seven. The medically forced dismissal of Simon Feindouno in January has probably played a part, as well.

The French-Guinean was the heart of Dubai's midfield and, given his experience in UAE football, replacing such a player is never an easy task.

The club's management openly conceded that as they first tried the Spaniard Juan Quero only to show him the door after two matches and bring in the Al Shaab discard Rodrigo Vergilio.

The Brazilian, however, has done little in his past three Pro League appearances for his new employers. On Friday night, again, he failed to leave any great impressions. Not that he got many chances to shine with Ahli defenders Yousuf Mohamed and Basheer Saeed allowing for little freedom of movement.

Porta, however, remained a threat and tested his former teammate at Al Wasl, Majed Naser, with a heavy shot in the 19th minute.

In the final minute of the game, he did manage to beat Naser with a curling effort that deserved a bit more applause then it got.

At the other end, Grafite and Quaresma kept asking questions of the Dubai defence, but it was Luis Jimenez who put them ahead in the 25th minute, booting home a low cross from the Brazilian following a good run down the right by Hussain.

Abdulaziz Sanqoor almost doubled the visitor's tally in the 30th minute with a searing volley, but the Dubai goalkeeper Jamal Abdullah did well to keep the ball out of the nets. Sanquor's UAE teammate Abdulaziz Haikal then took his chances in the 36th minute from almost 30 yards and nearly got past the keeper.

Ahli got their second just before the break when Grafite blasted Quaresma's clever chip over the Dubai defence and into the top of the nets. Seconds later, the Brazilian got his second of the night, heading in Hussain's cross.

Hussain was the provider in Ahli's fourth and fifth goals, as well, both coming within a minute of each other. First, in the 65th minute, Jimenez tapped home a rebound after the Dubai keeper had punched back Hussain's effort. Seconds later, the January recruit from Baniyas made a solo run down the middle before crossing for Quaresma to finish, the first goal in the UAE for the Portguese, coming in his fifth match.

Quaresma then turned provider in the 75th minute, helping Grafite complete his hat-trick.

Ahli's sixth goal of the night had come just a minute after substitute Mohammed Ibrahim had pulled one back for the hosts. Yousuf Hassan, another substitute, scored Dubai's second in the 85th minute and Porta added the third just before the end to lend a bit more respectability to the score line.

arizvi@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National