x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dibba help their hopes of Pro League survival at Al Wasl's expense

The relegation battlers boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop despite being a goal down within the first 11 seconds at Al Wasl.

Adel Al Hammadi, centre, helps lead the celebration as his Dibba teammates react to their 3-2 win over host Al Wasl.
Adel Al Hammadi, centre, helps lead the celebration as his Dibba teammates react to their 3-2 win over host Al Wasl.

Al Wasl 2 Dibba Al Fujairah 3
Al Wasl Khalifa Abdulla 1’, 62’
Dibba Al Antaly 35’, Khalid Masoud 50’, Najjarine 78’

Red cards Fahad Hadeed (Wasl)

DUBAI // Dibba Al Fujairah may be struggling to survive in the Pro League, but they clearly have Al Wasl's number.

A goal down after just 11 seconds, the visitors bounced back to beat Wasl 3-2 on Sunday and take home three crucial points. It was their third victory in three matches over the Dubai team this season and, this time, Wasl finished the game with 10 men when Fahad Hadeed picked up two yellow cards for dissent in injury time.

"It was a very difficult match," said Abdullah Misfir, the Dibba coach. "We conceded a goal from the opening whistle and when you concede a goal in 11 seconds, there is always the danger of choking. So it was not easy and I have to congratulate my players for their great performance in bouncing back.

"We managed to finish the first half 1-1 and I spoke to the players during the break and told them we have to win this game."

The victory takes Dibba to 14 points, the same as Al Shaab, who hold the tiebreaker over Dibba by dint of beating the Fujairah side twice.

Misfir, however, is optimistic about his team's chances of surviving in the top division given their performance in the second half of the season. Having won just four points from their first 13 matches, Dibba have beaten Al Dhafra, Al Ain and Wasl in the second half and drew against Al Jazira.

"I did not start the season with the team, but I have tried my best," said Misfir, who took over the team in late October after the Brazilian Cabo was dismissed following a 5-1 defeat against Al Ain. "We have got 10 points in the second half of the league so far, so this is really good and let's see how it goes. We will try our best and we will keep fighting till the end."

Wasl had made a fine start to the game when Khalifa Abdullah, receiving Jussie's cross, sidestepped a defender and slotted home to put the hosts ahead in the opening minute.

The visitors, however, refused to roll over and got the equaliser in the 35th minute after Bilal Najjarine won a duel with Wasl's Ahmed Ibrahim and then squeezed the ball between the centre back's legs for Mohammed Al Antaly to boot home.

Dibba added a second five minutes into the second session when a Luiz Fernando shot deflected off Ibrahim into Khalid Masoud's path and the winger's effort glanced off the near post into the nets.

Abdullah levelled the scores for the hosts in the 62nd minute, blasting Achille Emana's cross into the top of the net, but Dibba were back in the lead in the 78th minute when Najjarine, the defender and Lebanon national, nodded in a corner.

"My congratulations to the Dibba team and Abdullah Misfir; they deserved to win," said Eid Baroot, the Wasl coach.

"We opened the scores in 11 seconds, but unfortunately we could not continue at the same level.

"The players slowed down. They were very slow in moving the ball around. The team did not perform like they did in the last three games and there is no excuse for this performance. We will have to work harder and I hope we will play better in the coming matches."

Man of the match Bilal Najjarine (Dibba)

arizvi@thenational.ae

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