x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Etisalat Cup round-up: Baniyas dominate to draw level with Al Wasl

Baniyas dominate Al Dhafra to pull into a tie atop Group B with Al Wasl, and Dubai draw 1-1 with Al Shaab.

Baniyas continued their fine season with a resounding 4-2 victory against Al Dhafra in the Etisalat Cup on Friday night, a result that lifted them level on points with Al Wasl at the top of Group B.

Jozef Chovanec's team, fourth in the Pro League, enjoyed the majority of possession in the early stages at the Baniyas Stadium and deservedly took the lead when Khalid Mubarak fired home on seven minutes.

However, Dhafra equalised five minutes later following Thamir Mohammed's challenge on Ali Al Hamadi inside the penalty area, the visiting striker dusting himself off to dispatch from the spot.

Mohammed promptly atoned for his mistake, though, restoring his side's advantage as Baniyas briefly seized control. Yet Dhafra again drew level when Al Hamadi notched his second on 71 minutes, although Fareed Ismail struck moments later to make it 3-2 Baniyas.

As Dhafra pushed for yet another equaliser Fawaz Awana, introduced late by Chovanec, guaranteed the win by netting Baniyas's fourth, two minutes from time.

Despite the defeat, Dhafra are on six points, three adrift of Baniyas and Wasl.

In the evening's other match, Dubai were held at home by Al Shaab as Group A's bottom two teams contested a 1-1 draw. The hosts thought they had secured three points when Ali Hassan netted just before the hour, but Nasser Khamis managed a 90th-minute strike.


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