x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ahli edge Jazira in six goal thriller

Faisal Khalil and Mohammed Suroor scored late goals to power Al Ahli to a 4-2 win over Al Jazira in their top of the table clash at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium to go top of the Pro League.

ABU DHABI // Faisal Khalil and Mohammed Suroor scored late goals to power Al Ahli to a 4-2 win over Al Jazira in their top of the table clash at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium to go top of the Pro League. The game seemed destined for a draw after Rafael Sobis had struck the second equaliser eight minutes from time, but the visitors hit back to leave the title race wide open. Khalil got past a couple of defenders before poking the ball towards the far corner of the net to regain the lead with two minutes left, and the late substitute Suroor struck in injury time to complete a superb win. The result moved Ahli a point ahead of the long time leaders, with Al Ain, who were held to a scoreless draw by Al Shabab earlier in the day in Dubai, four points behind in third. There was never a dull moment after Marcio Rozario had headed the ball into his own net in the second minute. The Brazilian tried heading the ball out of play from a free-kick but saw it crash into his own net. Jazira cancelled out the lead four minutes later through Fernando Baiano. Sobis's shot was pushed out for a corner by Saif Yousef and the league's leading scorer, Baiano, unmarked on the far post, tapped home his 18th goal of the season from the ensuing corner. Jazira should have gone into the break with the lead but instead they went in 2-1 down. They missed a flurry of chances with Baiano, Sobis and Salem al Menhali all missing sitters in a half they dominated. Bare punished their negligence when he broke through from a counterattack, beating both Rashid Abdulrahman and Rozario, before neatly shooting the ball past the advancing goalkeeper Ali Kashief to regain the lead for the visitors. Ahli returned from the break with an attacking ploy and troubled Jazira throughout. Abel Braga's men drew level through Sobis with eight minutes remaining, but saw their efforts wasted at the end as Ahli's substitutes stole the show.

apassela@thenational.ae