x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Nasr's Rodrigo Vergilio scores twice against Al Shabab

The Brazilian striker scored twice in the final 20 minutes to salvage a point for Al Nasr against Al Shabab.

Al Wasl, in yellow, secured a 2-1 victory against Al Nasr during their Pro League clash yesterday. The win moved Wasl up to third in the table, five points behind second-placed Baniyas, who travel to bottom club Kalba today.
Al Wasl, in yellow, secured a 2-1 victory against Al Nasr during their Pro League clash yesterday. The win moved Wasl up to third in the table, five points behind second-placed Baniyas, who travel to bottom club Kalba today.

Rodrigo Vergilio, the Brazilian striker, scored twice in the final 20 minutes as visitors Al Nasr fought back to salvage a 2-2 draw with Al Shabab in the Pro League last night.

Each of Vergilio's goals came courtesy of low shots, sharply struck from just outside the box, the first with his left foot, the second with his right, and each were just wide of the diving Shabab goalkeeper Salem Abdullah.

Shabab seemed on the way to their eighth victory in 12 domestic matches in 2011 when Jociel de Ferreira and Ali Mohammed scored second-half goals. They were poised to draw within two points of second-placed Baniyas - until Vergilio intervened.

The goal by De Ferreira, Shabab's Brazilian winger, was the best of the night, a remarkable volley from about 15 yards right of the goal, that somehow slipped between the post and the Nasr keeper Abdullah Moosa.

Mohammed's goal was struck from 35 yards out and deflected off the boot of Nasr's Halel Saeed, and Moosa was unable to hold the ball as it hit his hands and went over his head into the goal.

Vergilio, who sometimes is known as "Careca", like De Ferreira was obtained by his club during the January transfer window. He has four goals in five Pro League matches since joining the club on loan from Al Kuwait.

Shabab are tied for third on 24 points; Nasr are joint sixth on 21 points with Sharjah, who play tonight.

Earlier, Essa Ali scored a penalty in the 61st minute to lift Al Wasl to a 2-1 victory over visitors Al Dhafra.

A reckless tackle in the box by Khairi al Hammadi doomed Dhafra, who had been pressing the attack early in second period of a 1-1 game. Al Hammadi took down the Brazilian forward Alexandre Oliveira, and Ali stepped up to convert the penalty, which he celebrated by sucking his thumb.

Not only did al Hammadi's challenge put Dhafra behind, it reduced them to 10 men because the defender was shown his second yellow card and was sent off.

Dhafra took a lead in the fifth minute thanks to a goal by the Nigerian Abass Lawal, but Wasl got even just three minutes later when Francisco Yeste, the Spanish forward, scored a free kick from 20 yards out. It was Yeste's ninth goal of his first Pro league season.

Boris Kabi, the Dhafra forward from Ivory Coast, repeatedly tested Wasl's Majed Naser, but the national team goalkeeper resisted every challenge.

The defeat leaves Dhafra in the relegation zone, one point behind Dubai. Wasl jumped up to 24 points, putting them in the upper third of the table.