x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Tony keeps Jazira hot on the heels of Al Wahda

Al Jazira's Ivorian striker Tony scored twice on his comeback from injury to help his team defeat a resolute Emirate 3-2.

ABU DHABI // Al Jazira's Ivorian striker Tony scored twice on his comeback from injury to help his team defeat a resolute Emirate 3-2 to keep them on the heels of league leaders Al Wahda in the Pro League. Tony gave his side an early lead and scored again from the spot in the 66th minute but it was Sultan al Menhali's strike 10 minutes from time that earned them the victory at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium. Emirate had struck twice within 10 minutes to lead 2-1 at half time. The Iranian Reza Enayati was on target with a penalty and the Algerian Karim Karkar fired a second on the stroke of half-time for the visitors to go into the break with a surprise lead. Tony played in the first half of the season and an injury to him paved the way for the Brazilain Rafael Sobis to return to the squad during the January transfer window. Sobis, the second most expensive Pro League signing at Dh65 million, suffered a knee ligament injury last May. Tony now returns in place of the injured Ricardo Oliveira, the Pro League's most expensive signing at Dh 82m. The former AC Milan forward has been ruled out for the season and flew back to his native Brazil to undergo a knee operation. Elsewhere, Jose Sand, the league's top scorer, fired a hat-trick as Al Ain hammered 10-man Al Shabab 5-2 at the Maktoum bin Rashid Stadium. The Argentine gave his team a lead in the opening minute and added a second to his name two minutes into the second half. He completed the rout from the spot two minutes from time. Fares Jumna and Abdul-Aziz Fayez added the other two. Surer Salem and the Brazilian Carlos Renate were on target for Shabab. The result keeps Al Ain in third on 35 points, five behind Wahda. The defending champions Al Ahli, who were left without a coach after the Dutchman Henke ten Cate stepped down following their 5-0 defeat to the Qatari club Al Sad in the Asian Champions League last week, were beaten by Sharjah 1-0. The Brazilian Marcelo headed the winner when a corner-kick took a deflection and came towards his path two minutes from time.

apassela@thenational.ae