x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Schaefer thwarted by Al Dhafra again

Al Ain dropped valuable points and lost their Pro League lead after Al Dhafra held them to a 1-1 draw at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday.

Al Ain dropped valuable points and lost their Pro League lead after Al Dhafra held them to a 1-1 draw at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday. The Dhafra coach, Laurent Banide, was naturally delighted with the result, saying: "I would take a point from the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium any time as a win. Al Ain are a powerhouse and for a small club like us to win a point from them is a wonderful result. We knew where Al Ain's strength were with their foreigners [Jorge] Valdivia, [Marcio] Emerson and [Jose] Sand. "We cut the supply lines by close marking these players. It's not easy to have them nailed for a major part of the game, but we succeeded this time." Dhafra drew first blood through the Nigerian Abas Mowiwa's spot kick in the 28th minute and the Argentine Sand struck the equaliser from another penalty on the 66th minute. Dhafra have now drawn their past three games against Al Ain. The Al Ain coach Winfried Schaefer said: "It was bound to happen sooner or later when the players will have one off day at work. Al Dhafra came with a plan and they succeeded. We must give credit to them." Sharjah, meanwhile, thrashed 10-man Ajman 4-1 at home. The Brazilian Marcelo fired a hat trick and the Iraqi Mustafa Kareem netted the other after. The Ivorian Boris Kabi pulled one back after Mahboob Juma was sent off in the 18th minute.

apassela@thenational.ae