x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Al Jazira hammers Al Shaab

Rafael Sobis paid back another chunk of his Dh65million transfer fee with a superb hat-trick as Al Jazira shut-out Al Shaab, 5-0.

Rafael Sobis paid back another chunk of his Dh65million transfer fee with a superb hat-trick as Al Jazira hammered toothless Al Shaab at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. Fernando Baiano also got a double as Abel Braga's Brazilian front men did the business again and made it two wins out of two in the Etisalat Cup. Shaab were on the back foot from the word go with the striker Baiano firing straight at the keeper at the near post. Luka Berzovic's visitors, who are point-less in the Pro League so far, were missing the former Inter Milan striker Mohamad Kallon and any real bite in front of goal. Khaled Sabil created the first real chance for Jazira. The wideman drove down the right and pulled the ball back for the midfielder Abdulla Qasem, who completely miskicked from ten yards. Five minutes later, Qasem exchanged passes with his captain, Saleh Obaid, before thumping the ball against the post from 20 yards. As the game started to spring to life, so did the lethargic Baiano. He exchanged passes with Sobis on the edge of the box, faked to shoot, but then pulled his near post shot wide. Two minutes before half-time, the breakthrough came. The impressive Ivorian midfielder Ibrahim Diaky sent Baiano through on goal with the outside of his foot. Under the attention of two Shaab defenders, his attempted turn fell straight to Sobis, who took a couple of touches and fired a left-foot effort across the keeper Mohammed Gloum. It was just rewards for Sobis' hard work. Shaab were caught sleeping straight after the break by Baiano. The former Celta Vigo man, who rarely looked like he was breaking a sweat in the first period, latched onto a long ball from Obaid and lobbed it straight over the onrushing Gloum. Qasem should have made it three, missing an open goal after being set up by Diaky, before Shaab's Ghanian striker Godwin Atram had a goal disallowed for offside. Jazira were all over their sorry opponents, with twenty minutes left, and Sobis should have put the game to bed. He rounded the keeper, taking out two defenders in the process, but with a huge open goal to aim at, he lifted the ball over the bar with the left foot that had been so deadly in the first half. But the Brazilian didn't have to wait long to atone for his miss. With 15 minutes to go, the lively Sabil played him in to slide the ball under Gloum at the near post. And on 82 minutes Diaky, who put in a superb display, laid the ball off for Sobis to mercilessly smash home his third. Sabil got another assist with a minute left, crossing for Baiano to head home from point-blank range as Jazira proved they will be a serious contender for silverware this season. Shaab, on the other hand, were left desolate, goalless and still searching for a first win.

twoods@thenational.ae