x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Al Ahli stretch unbeaten streak in AGL to 12 matches with 2-1 defeat of Ajman

Al Wasl earn first league victory since January 24 in 2-0 defeat of Baniyas

Al Ahli striker Grafite, right, pictured during the Arabian Gulf Cup final against Al Jaizra on April 19, 2014, scored the equaliser for his side against Ajman in the Arabian Gulf League on May 2, 2014. Al Ittihad
Al Ahli striker Grafite, right, pictured during the Arabian Gulf Cup final against Al Jaizra on April 19, 2014, scored the equaliser for his side against Ajman in the Arabian Gulf League on May 2, 2014. Al Ittihad

Champions Al Ahli continued their unbeaten run in the Arabian Gulf League on Friday with a 2-1 home victory over Ajman.

Simon Feindouno gave Ajman the lead after 38 minutes, only for Grafite to equalise in contentious fashion. A header by the Brazilian struck the crossbar and bounced downward, crossing the goal line before Ajman goalkeeper Ali Mesmari could collect it. Abdelaziz Husain provided the winner for Ahli six minutes from full time.

Ahli top the league with 61 points from 25 matches, 16 clear of second-place Al Wahda. Ajman stayed 10th with 25 points.

Ahli’s stretched their unbeaten league run to 12 matches, their last AGL defeat coming 3-0 at home against Al Dhafra on January 3. In a small bit of coincidence, Dhafra host Ahli in the last match on the last day of the season, May 11.

In the last Sharjah derby for at least one season, relegated Al Shaab earned a 1-1 draw with neighbours Sharjah on Friday to dent the latter’s chances of finishing in the top four of the league.

Ahmed Jumaa staked Shaab to an early lead after 18 minutes, but Ahmed Khamis levelled for Sharjah on 29 minutes after running on to a Fellype Gabriel through ball and poking his shot past Shaab goalkeeper Obaid Al Taweela.

Sharjah’s task got harder when Kim Jung-woo was sent off for a second yellow card just before half time. Shaab pushed forward for the rest of the match in search of a winner that would have lifted them off the foot of the AGL table, but to no avail.

Sharjah have 40 points, level with sixth-place Al Ain but with an inferior goal difference. They travel to Al Jazira on the final day of the season and will need to win to stand a chance of qualifying for the Asian Champions League. Shaab stayed in 14th with 13 points.

Elsewhere, Al Wasl celebrated their first league victory since January 24 as they won 2-0 away to Baniyas. Hassan Zahran gave Wasl the lead after 20 minutes, and Ricardo Oliveira doubled the advantage on 71 minutes.

The win, Wasl’s first since beating Shaab 1-0 at home on January 24, lifted them to 25 points, level with Ajman and 11th-place Emirates. Baniyas, who had a chance to play in the ACL but lost a play-off to Kuwait’s Al Qadsia on February 8, are ninth on 30 points.

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