x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Ahli 4 Al Wasl 0

Barracked by the Al Wasl fans, Majed Naser has the last laugh as Al Ahli beat his former club.

Luis Antonio Jiminez of Al Ahli scores his side's first goal during a match against Al Wasl at Rashid Stadium in Dubai on Monday. Jake Badger for The National
Luis Antonio Jiminez of Al Ahli scores his side's first goal during a match against Al Wasl at Rashid Stadium in Dubai on Monday. Jake Badger for The National

DUBAI // Heckled incessantly by the Al Wasl fans, Majed Naser kept his composure and a clean sheet as Al Ahli drubbed his former club 4-0 last night.

The hosts scored two on either side of the break to keep their fourth position in the Pro League points table – behind Al Ain (40), Al Jazira (31) and Baniyas (31) – while Wasl remain ninth on 17 points following three consecutive defeats in the league.

The Panthers have now lost seven of their last eight matches in all competitions.

After the end, two Al Wasl fans invaded the pitch, one opened his jacket to bare his yellow team jersey at Naser while the other threw a scarf at the keeper.

The gloveman just smiled at them both, for he had already had the last laugh.

That kind of a behaviour was expected, as for almost a week now, the fans of both teams have been involved in a war of words on Twitter, and Naser had been subject of much of the discussion.

Looking at the sensitivity of the game, extra security was visible throughout the stadium.

The Wasl Ultras picked on Naser as soon he came out for warm-up. The goalkeeper had switched to Ahli in September after seven years at Wasl, and the visiting fans kept taunting him. The Ahli fans put out a banner in support of their players, calling him the "Lionheart".

With his opposite number dominating the show, Rashed Ali must have felt a bit left out.

But an Abdulaziz Haikal volley in the second minute allowed the Wasl keeper to earn a few rounds of applause.

Eight minutes later, however, Ali watched helplessly as Luis Jimenez fired Haikal's cross into the net. Ahli could have recorded a second in the 17th minute, but the goalkeeper did well to keep Majed Hassan's header out.

The hosts, however, did not have to wait long to double their tally as Ahmed Khalil muscled his way past the defence in the 23rd minute and placed the ball to the right of the keeper.

At the other end, Naser was doing somersaults of delight.

After the break, though, Naser had a tough time maintaining his composure as the Wasl fans, seated right behind him, kept booing incessantly.

The goalkeeper, however, had more celebrations coming his way as Ahli added two more to their tally.

Yousuf Mohammed made it 3-0 in the 68th minute, booting home Yasser Salem's retrieval from the goal line, and Ismail Al Hammadi then added the fourth in the 75th following a trademark dash.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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