x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Jazira and Dubai are on top

Al Wahda defeated in the capital's Etisalat Cup derby and Dubai go down at home to Al Ain.

Dubai’s Abou Baca Camara tries to play the ball past Al Ain’s Fares Jumaa yesterday.
Dubai’s Abou Baca Camara tries to play the ball past Al Ain’s Fares Jumaa yesterday.

ABU DHABI // Matias Delgado and Ricardo Oliveira scored on either side of half time as Al Jazira avenged their Super Cup defeat to Al Wahda in an ill-tempered Etisalat Cup match 2-1 at the Al Nahyan stadium last night.

Delgado, the Argentine midfielder, headed a rebound that crashed against the crossbar and fell on his path, while Oliveira collected a long, low cross from Abdulla Qasem to shoot the ball past the outstretched hand of Mutaz Abdulla, the Wahda goalkeeper, for the winning goal.

Wahda went into the break with the scores level following a spot-kick from Hugo three minutes into added time of the first half.

It was the Brazilian's fifth goal and his fourth penalty in three games, two in the Etisalat Cup and the other in the Super Cup.

Jazira's victory, their second following a 4-3 home result over Al Wasl last week, took them to the top of Group A and also ended Wahda's perfect start to the season.

It was Jazira's second meeting in 13 days against the city rivals, to whom they lost the season opening Super Cup in a penalty shootout 7-6, after a 2-2 deadlock.

Wahda enjoyed a numerical advantage when Subait Khater was given a direct red for dangerous play. It was one of the more memorable altercations which erupted on the field during the tense game.

Khater, trying to get his foot on a bouncing ball, had his boot at the level of the charging Yaqoub Yousef's face, but television replays seemed to show that the Wahda defender went down after little or no contact.

Thereafter, the game went out of control as tempers flared. Both sides indulged in physical play, and the referee had to intervene several times to separate players who were pushing each other.

Wahda pressed hard for the equalizer but Jazira kept their nerve in the last quarter to keep maintain their 100 per cent record in the Etisalat Cup.

Wahda were unlucky as they hit the woodwork three times. Hugo's powerful shot crashed against the crossbar in the 26th minute. His header bounced back off the near post off a lobbed pass from Ismail Matar two minutes later.

Magrao's shot crashed against the crossbar early in the second half as Wahda failed to take advantage of more than 70 minutes with a one-man advantage.

Oliveira had an effort that also found the post but the Brazilian forward made no mistakes from a long ball off Abdulla Qasem, shooting it past the outstretched hand of Abdulla.

Abdulla was tested early by Bare. The Wahda goalkeeper did well to punch away a bullet from the Brazilian striker from inside the area but he had no chance when Delgado arrived in a flash to head a rebound that crashed against the crossbar off a 30-metre free kick from Oliveira.

Hugo's effort shook the woodwork in the 26th minute and a second effort, a low drive from 30 metres, was held by Khalid Essa, who dived to his left to hold on to the ball that took a slight deflection off a defender.

Essa, the Jazira goalkeeper did well to push out a swerving 30-metre shot from Matar.

Just before half time, Khalid Sebeal was penalized for a clumsy tackle on Matar, and Hugo made no mistake with his shot.

In yesterday's earlier match, Asamoah Gyan, the Ghana international on loan from the English Premier League club Sunderland, made a winning first appearance as Al Ain won 2-1 at Dubai. Ignacio Scocco, the Argentine midfielder, gave Al Ain a fourth-minute lead, but that was cancelled out six minutes later thanks to Dubai's Guinean forward Abou Baca Camara, who tapped in a low shot that beat the Al Ain defence.

Yasser Al Qahtani, the Saudi Arabia captain, the grabbed the winner 11 minutes into the second half. He followed up a shot that crashed against the crossbar by heading the ball into an empty net.

Gyan came on as a 56th-minute substitute for Rami Yaslam and nearly scored. His powerful shot from just inside the box was brilliantly blocked by Jamal Abdullah, the Dubai goalkeeper, and Al Ain held on for the three points.