x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Diego Maradona's plan comes off as Al Wasl reach Etisalat Cup semi-finals

Triumph over Al Jazira ensures that victories for Al Ain and Dubai are in vain in fight to reach the knockout stages.

Al Wasl, in yellow, defeated Al Jazira 4-3 last night.
Al Wasl, in yellow, defeated Al Jazira 4-3 last night.

Al Wasl had to work hard to become the final team through the semi-finals of the Etisalat Cup as they came from two goals down to defeat Al Jazira 4-3 tonight.

Jazira had already booked their spot in the last four, having won Group A, but that did not stop them going two up against Wasl, in the game played in Baniyas, as Ricardo Olivera and Bare fired them in to a two-goal lead.

Wasl began their fightback through a Juan Mercier goal, before a penalty from Juan Oliviera levelled the scores five minutes before the break.

Jazira got their noses back in front 12 minutes after the restart through Majid Nasser, but Tariq Hassan got Wasl back on level terms with 18 minutes remaining.

Mohammed Reza Khalatbari, who had come on as a second half substitute, was the Wasl match-winner as he drove home the winner with 15 minutes to go, and Maradona said that he had been confident that Khalatbari would have an effect.

"He is a starter but he had a game with Iran and I wanted to rest him and put him on the Al Jazira players got tired to cause problems and that is exactly what he did."

Jazira finished the match with 10 men after Ibrahim Diake was sent off following a squirmish with Mercier.

In the night's other action, Al Ain's 4-1 victory over Al Wahda was in vain due to Wasl's win and they finished one point behind the Dubai club in third in Group A.

Dubai defeated Emirates 2-0 to leave the Ras Al Khaimah club rooted to the bottom with five points from their 10 games. Dubai ended the campaign in fourth place.