x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Wasl 4 Al Wahda 1

Emiliano Alfaro announced his arrival with three goals in Al Wasl's victory over Al Wahda in the Pro League opener for both sides.

Hamdan Al Kamali, left, scored once for Al Ain which was not enough to offset the three goals scored for Al Ahli by Emiliano Alfaro, right.
Hamdan Al Kamali, left, scored once for Al Ain which was not enough to offset the three goals scored for Al Ahli by Emiliano Alfaro, right.

DUBAI // Emiliano Alfaro announced his arrival in the Pro League with a hat-trick Sunday night as Al Wasl started their campaign with a 4-1 win over a 10-man Al Wahda.

The Uruguay international, who has arrived at the Dubai club on a one-year loan deal after failing to find a starting spot at the Italian side Lazio, opened the scoring in the 20th minute and added two more in the second half before the Egyptian Shikabala, the darling of the home fans, made it 4-1 for Wasl with a stunning left-footer.

Bruno Metsu, who replaced Diego Maradona as the Wasl coach in the summer, was delighted with the performance of Alfaro, who had scored twice in Wasl's 4-2 Etisalat Cup win over Kalba last week.

"In the first game he scored two goals and now in his second game, he has scored three," Metsu said. "So five goals in two goals is very good for the player and for the team. He arrived only eight days ago, so that is not a lot of time, but this player's mentality is different. He is a killer and loves to score. Not easy to keep him in check. He likes to score. I like a player who wants to show something, to prove something."

Alfaro was the last of Wasl's new signings this season as the club took time deciding between him, Brazil's Afonso Alves and Ghana's Emmanuel Clottey.

Given his performance in the first two games, Metsu is pleased he picked the Uruguayan, who was not part of the Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic's plans for the season, with the likes of Miroslav Klose and Tommaso Rochi in his Serie A squad.

"I wanted to bring him to Al Gharafa in Qatar last season, but Lazio signed him," said Metsu, who was coaching at the Qatari club last year. "He was the top scorer in Uruguay three years ago. If you have to choose between Lazio and a club in Qatar, obviously the player will choose Lazio."

Two of Wasl's goals came after Wahda's Khalid Jalal was sent off in the 54th minute following his second booking. The visitors had put up a good challenge until then, with Hamdan Al Kamali equalising from the penalty spot 12 minutes after Alfaro's opener.

"Of course, when they win 4-1, they certainly deserved their win, but we had our opportunities at 1-1 and missed them," said Branko Ivanovic, the Wahda coach.

"Then at 2-1 we lost one player and it became very difficult. They utilised their advantage and deserved the win."

Al Wasl 4, Al Wahda 1

Wasl Alfaro 20’, 54’ (pen), 59’, Shikabala 68’
Wahda Al Kamali 32’ (pen)

Red card Khalid Jalal
(Al Wahda)

Man of the match
Emiliano Alfaro (Al Wasl)

arizvi@thenational.ae

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