A late goal is the only consolation in a 2-1 defeat at home for the Italian manager.
Walter Zenga’s Al Jazira lose to Al Nasr
Al Jazira 1 Al Nasr 2
Al Jazira: Khamis Ismail 89’
Al Nasr: Habib Fardan 32’, Toure 58’
ABU DHABI // Habib Fardan and Ibrahima Toure scored either side of half time as Al Nasr returned with all three points from their trip to Al Jazira last night after a 2-1 win.
Fardan headed home a dipping cross from Khamis Ahmed, and Toure caught Ali Kasheif, the Jazira goalkeeper, flat footed with a curling shot into the top corner from 30 yards out.
Khamis Ismail struck with a 30-yard bullet to cut the lead with a minute left but and Ricardo Oliveira’s close-range effort was blocked by Yousuf Abdulla, the Nasr keeper, as the visitor’s held on.
The result took the Dubai club’s tally to 13 points along with Sharjah and Al Wasl, but they are fourth, behind Wasl on goal difference. “We made a very good game and a quality game for the entire 90 minutes. We were deserving winners tonight. We controlled the game from the beginning and I must congratulate my players,” Ivan Jovanovic, the Nasr coach, said.
“We played with the ball, we created many chances. We could have scored more had the final pass been a bit better.
“It was always a big game against Jazira and obviously a good win for us. We didn’t give them much room. We are hopeful the team will keep improving as the season progresses.
“The league is still wide open with the teams tightly grouped. It only goes to show there is not much difference between any teams.”
Walter Zenga, the Jazira coach, felt his side failed to respond to going behind. “We had some problems but were unable to solve it,” the Italian said.
“We had an early chance to score but that didn’t happen and we fell flat thereafter and conceded a goal. We scored a late goal and had another opportunity to equalise. But that too didn’t happen. I have been only a month so we will keep working and try to improve after every game.”
Jazira also received a blow when Ali Mabkhout, the UAE international who has four goals this season, pulled up holding the back of his left leg shortly before the break, and was replaced by Nelson Valdez.
Jazira are sixth on 12 points in the table, but they could slip to eighth if Al Ain and Baniyas both win today.
Al Shabab 3 Dubai 0
After a hat-trick against Al Dhafra in his last match, Edgar Bruno was in the goals again with a double against Dubai to move Al Shabab within three points of leaders Al Ahli at the top of the AGL table. Bruno scored in the 34th and 84th minutes to make it nine league goals for the season. The Uzbekistan midfielder Haydarov Azizbek rounded off victory with a stylish free kick. Defeat leaves Dubai bottom of the table.
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