x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Wahda breeze past Dhafra in cup

Al Wahda turn in a dominant performance to defeat Al Dhafra 3-0 in the Emirates Cup for their eighth win on the trot.

Al Wahda turned in a dominant performance to defeat Al Dhafra 3-0 in the etisalat Emirates Cup for their eighth win on the trot. Fernando Baiano put Wahda ahead in the 11th minute with a crisp volley past the advancing Dhafra keeper and Marcio Rodrigues "Magrao" made it 2-0 in the 36th minute off a rebound. Abdulrahim Jumaa added the third in injury time. The win keeps Wahda on top of Group A with nine points from four games. With two matches - at Sharjah and against Al Ahli - to come, they look on course for the second semi-final of the season. The Abu Dhabi giants, who are second behind Al Jazira in the Pro League, have already qualified for a President's Cup semi-final showdown with Emirate. Wahda have not lost a game since the Pro League defeat at Al Wasl on November 8. They have notched up three wins each in the league and etisalat Cup since, and won both their President's Cup matches. Baiano, set up by a clever chip by Pinga, took a couple of steps into the box before unleashing a low volley that left the onrushing Dhafra keeper Tareq Mubarak stranded. The Brazilian, top scorer in the UAE last season when he turned out for Al Jazira, made an identical attempt in the 36th minute, but Mubarak manage to keep it out. Unfortunately for the keeper, the rebound fell into the path of Baiano's compatriot Magrao and he tapped it home. Abdullah Cisse had a great opportunity to pull one back for Dhafra in the 69th minute, but with just the Wahda keeper to beat, he punched the ball wide. In the other game of the evening, Shabab earned their first point of the tournament after a drab 0-0 draw against Ajman.

arizvi@thenational.ae