Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 February 2020

Alvaro Negredo scores after eight seconds as Al Nasr lift Arabian Gulf Cup

Nasr beat Shebab Al Ahli in Dubai after dramatic start

Al Nasr celebrate after the presentation of awards. Courtesy Arshad Khan Aboobaker/PLC.
Al Nasr celebrate after the presentation of awards. Courtesy Arshad Khan Aboobaker/PLC.

Spanish forward Alvaro Negredo scored the fastest goal in the history of the competition as Al Nasr lifted the Arabian Gulf Cup.

The former Manchester City striker struck after just eight seconds at the Al Zabeel stadium in Dubai on Friday to set up the victory over Shabab Al Ahli.

Portuguese midfielder Toze scored the winner five minutes into the second half after Yousef Jaber equalised on 13 minutes.

Negredo collected a long ball from Toze, split two Shabab Al Ahli defenders before calmly firing it past the Shabab Al Ahli goalkeeper Majed Naser.

Nasr’s joy was cut short when UAE international Jaber rose above their defence to head in a free kick from Argentine Federico Cartabia.

Nasr had an excellent opportunity to regain the lead five minutes before the break. Negredo worked down the left flank to send a low cross inside the box but Toze shot wide.

The Portuguese made amends, though, five minutes into the second half.

Negredo’s effort from inside the area ricocheted off a defender and fell into Tozo’s path and he made sure with an excellent shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

Shabab Al Ahli, the four-time winners of the cup, pushed hard and twice came close to levelling for the second time.

Their Brazilian forward Henrique Luvennor’s effort from a difficult angle crashed against the near post on 65 minutes.

The Nasr keeper Ahmed Shambieh did well to block a powerful shot from UAE international Ismail Al Hammadi as they saw off Shabaab Al Ahli’s challenge to lift the title for the second time.

“Obviously we are very happy winning this title,” said Nasr manager Kronoslav Jurcic.

Al Nasr players react around Tozo after the Portuguese netted their second goal to beat Shabaab Al Ahli 2-1 in the Arabian Gulf Cup final at Zabeel stadium in Dubai on Friday. Courtesy Arshad Khan Aboobaker/PLC
Al Nasr players react around Tozo after the Portuguese netted their second goal to beat Shabaab Al Ahli 2-1 in the Arabian Gulf Cup final at Zabeel stadium in Dubai on Friday. Courtesy Arshad Khan Aboobaker/PLC

“This is a big achievement in a job that I have been only for three months. I would like to congratulate my players and all those in the club who worked so hard for this success.

“This result is a team effort. We can’t achieve anything in life, not only in football, without a collective effort.

“I didn’t come here with a magic stick to change the fortunes of the club. No coach can achieve results without the teamwork.

“We have taken a big step forward but we still have a lot of hard work ahead to achieve more success. And that’s what we want to do after two days when the celebrations are over.”

Shabab Al Ahli manager Rodolfo Arruabarrena congratulated Nasr and said they were meticulous in their preparation.

“The first half was a comedy of errors,” the Argentine said. “The first goal was a surprise and affected our style of play. We made mistakes we shouldn’t have made.

“We still did well to get back into the game quickly after conceding the first goal. And it was a game worthy of a final. This game is behind us now and we still have three other competitions to play. We should be calm at this moment.”

Updated: January 18, 2020 10:13 AM

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