SHARJAH // The King moved closer to abdication. Ismail Al Hammadi's goal in the 72nd minute lifted Al Ahli to a 2-1 Pro League victory, and Sharjah have only two games left to climb to safety.
The good news for Sharjah were the defeats suffered last night by Emirates and Dubai, the teams they need to catch to escape the drop. Sharjah can still earn six points in the final two rounds of the league - both their relegation rivals sit four points above them in the table.
Ending with two victories would seem unlikely, given Sharjah's inability to defeat any Pro League team since December 13 of last year, a stretch of 18 games over three competitions.
They will, however, appreciate that they played well for significant stretches last night.
The brisk headed goal by forward Saeed Al Kas, 36, was his first league strike this season.
And Sharjah came within inches of seizing a point when Ali Mohammed's heavy shot banged off the post in added time.
Quique Sanchez Flores, the Ahli coach, said the victory was not easy. "I approached it like we were playing Al Ain. It is difficult in this time of the year; 95 minutes is a very long time for the players."
Asked about whether the league should add two teams, taking it to 14 and keeping Sharjah from relegation, he said: "It depends on the quality of the teams. It is fine if you add more quality. In this case, I have been here only seven months, and I don't know if more teams would mean more quality."