x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Khater boost for Al Jazira

Subait Khater returns after a three-match ban but Rafael Sobis is suspended for Al Jazira's Pro League clash with Al Ain.

AL AIN // Subait Khater returns after a three-match ban but Rafael Sobis is suspended for Al Jazira's Pro League clash with Al Ain at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium. Khater was fined Dh50,000 and banned for a year from the national team and three club matches for breaking a night curfew before the UAE's World Cup qualifying match with Iran last month. The midfielder returns against his former club.

The Jazira coach Abel Braga sees the midfielder's comeback as a boost. He said: "We must try to score an early goal and then we'll have a very good chance to return with three points. I am happy at Subait's return to the side and we hope he can do something for us." His Ain counterpart Winfried Schaefer was also confident he would be able keep his team's unbeaten run going. The German said: "We are ready for the challenge. We are at full strength and three more points will put us in a strong position after the first half of the league."

In yesterday's early games, a first-half spot-kick from Egypt international Hosny Abd Rabo gave Al Ahli a 1-0 victory away to Sharjah to keep top spot in the Pro League. Al Dhafra jumped three places to seventh after a 6-2 thrashing of Al Wasl. Hussain Suhail scored twice and substitute Hamad Hosani fired a penalty in the second half for the Knights to complete a memorable win. Toufiq Zrara, Rasoul Khatibi and Ali Sultan put the home side ahead 3-2 at the break after Rashid Esa and Khalaf Ismail had cancelled the lead twice.

Al Nasr struck a late goal to salvage a 1-1 draw away to promoted Ajman. Humaid Abdulla's spot-kick saved a point after Iranian Ali Samreh had given Ajman the lead on the half hour. apassela@thenational.ae