DUBAI // Al Wasl's unbeaten start to the season came to an end at home last night as a Makhete Diop hat-trick gave Al Dhafra a comfortable 4-0 win at the Zabeel Stadium.
And the players delivered on the promise with a commanding performance, although Wasl never really looked competitive except for a brief period after the opening goal.
Dhafra were looking for redemption and they made their intentions know early in the game.
After a few near misses, the visitors took the lead in the ninth minute as Diop, who has scored once in the last four games, rose high over the Wasl defence to nod in Hazza Salem's cross from the right.
Stung by the reversal, Wasl shifted gears and Shikabala, who delayed joining up with the Egypt national team to play this game, and Mariano Donda put a lot of pressure on the Dhafra defence.
The visitors, however, could have scored a second against the run of play in the 20th minute, but Amara Diane failed to punish the Wasl goalkeeper Ahmed Mahmoud for a fumble.
At the other end, the prolific Emiliano Alfaro missed a great opportunity in the 25th minute, choosing to dive after jumping over a tackle by the Dhafra goalkeeper Khalid Al Sinani.
The Uruguayan did a lot better six minutes later, twisting and turning around the defenders, but failing to get past the keeper.
Seconds later, Dhafra and Diop were celebrating their second of the night.
Set up by Diane, Bandar Mohammed raced towards goal, drawing out the Wasl keeper and just as Mahmoud slid into him, the Dhafra winger crossed for Diop, who flicked the ball into the unmanned goal.
Diane had a big part to play in Dhafra's third goal as well in the 54th minute, muscling his way through the defence and tapping the ball to Bandar for an easy finish.
Twelve minutes later, Bandar played provider, crossing for Diop to head in his third goal of the game.
Dhafra were unlucky not to get a fifth in the 83rd minute when Diop's replacement Hamad Raqea hit the post.
Wasl had a chance to reduce the arrears in the 85th minute after Mohammed Qassim handled a ball in the area, but Alfaro blasted the penalty straight to the keeper.
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