x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Pro League: Unlucky Al Wahda forced to settle on draw with Al Wasl

Marcelo Oliveira's goal at the 40th minute salvaged a draw for Al Wahda, who had drives from Oliveira and Srdan Andric bang off the post and crossbar, respectively. Amith Passela reports.

Ismail Matar, right, of Al Wahda fights for control of the ball with Al Wasl's Khalifa Abdulla. The two teams settled on a 1-1 draw at the end.
Ismail Matar, right, of Al Wahda fights for control of the ball with Al Wasl's Khalifa Abdulla. The two teams settled on a 1-1 draw at the end.

Al Wahda 1 Al Wasl 1

Al Wahda Oliveira 40’
Al Wasl Hadeed 12’

Man of the match
Ismail Matar (Al Wahda)

 

ABU DHABI // Branko Ivankovic may consider his Al Wahda were unlucky after twice hitting the frame and missing a flurry of chances in the 1-1 draw with Al Wasl in the Pro League on Friday night.

Marcelo Oliveira's effort hit the post in the first half and Srdan Andric's powerfully struck shot crashed against the crossbar late in the second half in the mid-table battle.

Fahad Hadeed put the visitors ahead early.

Oliveira cancelled it before the break as the second half fizzled out in a deadlock at the Al Nahyan Stadium.

Wahda twice came close to scoring early, but it was the visitors who went ahead after Emiliano Alfaro drew three defenders towards him inside the area before sending a neat cross for Hadeed to head into the far corner.

Oliveira's stinging shot from the edge of the box went agonisingly close past the post and Ahmed Mahmoud, the goalkeeper, did well to block Saeed Al Kathiri's close-range shot.

There was further frustration for Wahda when Oliveira's effort ricocheted off the post and Ismail Matar's heavy shot off the rebound was pushed out by Mahmoud.

Wahda had a major share of possession and territory but Wasl used counter-attacks effectively, denied by Adel Al Hosani, the keeper, a couple of times.

The Wahda custodian did well to charge down to clear a ball from Alfaro's feet and hold on to low shot from Jussie Ferreira, the Brazilian forward on loan from the French Ligue 1 club Bordeaux.

Wahda were rewarded for their attacking and creative play when Oliveira guided in a cross from Mahmoud Khamis from five yards for a timely equaliser five minutes from the break.

Achille Emana had a golden opportunity to regain the lead five minutes after resumption but the Cameroonian poked it wide from seven yards off a lofted cross from Alfaro.

If Emana had wasted an excellent scoring opportunity, then Al Kathiri was guilty of missing even an easier chance.

The Emirati international was gifted a perfect pass by Matar and had only to tap the ball into an empty net, but he struck it wide to the left, to the surprise of everyone in the stadium. Again it was the visitors turn to waste.

Emana set up Ferreira on to his left and the Brazilian found Alfaro, whose effort from inside the area was smothered by Dino Djulbic, the Wahda centre back.

Wahda were unlucky when Andric's rocket from 30 yards banged against the crossbar and Al Hosani did well to parry a bullet from Ferreira five minutes from time.

Then a last-ditch effort from Papa Waigo, a powerful shot, was just wide of the mark after Matar's lofted pass was chested towards the Senegalese, who came as a substitute for Oliveira past the hour.

The stalemate did not help both teams as they remain sixth and ninth, respectively, in the league table.

 

apassela@thenational.ae

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