x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Bangoura brace helps Nasr see off determined Shabab

After taking a comfortable 3-0 cushion before the break, Al Nasr survived a spirited rally for a 3-2 win, their first at home this Pro League season.

DUBAI // After taking a comfortable 3-0 cushion before the break, Al Nasr survived a spirited Al Shabab rally for their first home win of this Pro League season. Carlos Tenorio gave Nasr a lead in the fourth minute, and Ismail Bangoura added two more before the break. Shabab pulled two goals back inside the first 11 minutes of the second half, through Lamine Diarra and Carlos Villanueva, to bring the game. The visitors, however, failed to find an equaliser and Nasr won 3-2 before 2,273 onlookers.

Nasr went into the lead even before the fans had settled into their seats as Tenorio latched on to a spill by Shabab keeper Salem Abdullah. Amir Mubarak had fired in the initial shot from outside the box. Abdullah did well to reach it, but deflected it into the path of Tenorio. The Ecuadorean had a chance to double his tally in the 30th minute after darting through a crowded defence. He weaved his way past the goalkeeper as well, but with an empty goal beckoning, Tenorio inexplicably passed the ball to a relieved Shabab defender.

The second goal eventually came for the home side, in impressive fashion, through Bangoura in the 39th minute. The Guinea international tiptoed his way past three defenders from the left and managed to squeeze the ball past the goalkeeper from a narrow angle. The goal brought the Nasr fans to their feet and Bangoura celebrated in the fashion of Roger Milla, the Cameroon stalwart. Bangoura's second goal, a stinging volley on the run, gave the Shabab keeper no chance.

Shabab dominated the second half, but their bid to salvage a point - or a victory that would have taken them to the top of the table - came up short. arizvi@thenational.ae