Al Ain hit a magnificent seven to return to Arabian Gulf League summit

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Al Ain midfielder Hussein El Shahat (c) destroyed Ajman (Al Ain).

Al Ain roared back to the top of the Arabian Gulf League with a 7-0 thrashing of promoted Ajman, new Egypt recruit Hussein El Shahat notching a hat-trick and setting up two goals.

The Boss dropped off the front overnight thanks to Al Wahda’s stunning 4-3 victory against fellow title contenders Al Wasl. Spurred on by that result, the hosts at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium ran rampant and made it 18 matches undefeated in the top flight.

It took only seven minutes for the breakthrough to be found when Misr Lel Makkasa-loanee El Shahat saw his goal-bound effort deflected in off Adeilson. Sweden No9 Marcus Berg then produced his 12th goal in 14 AGL run-outs with a header into the far corner.

A smart finish from El Shahat followed, before brilliant Brazilian forward Caio produced a wonder goal  from long range to make it 4-0 by the half-hour mark.

El Shahat teed up UAE youngster Rayan Yaslam for the fifth soon after the interval. The Egyptian set up coveted winter recruit Ahmed Khalil on the 76th minute before completing his trio, and the scoring, on 82 minutes.

Meanwhile, returning coach Ivan Jovanovic’s renaissance at Al Nasr continued with a fine 2-0 victory at Dibba Al Fujairah.

The decision to rehire the man sacked in October 2016 continued to bear fruit for the Blue Wave. A pair of victories have been produced in his two matches in full control – a 1-0 defeat at Wahda was recorded under caretaker, Ali Murad.

Youngster Rashid Omer opened the scoring on 41 minutes when he danced past two Fishermen defenders and hit a shot which deflected in. Right-back Ahmed Al Yassi sealed the points on 58 minutes with a powerful strike.

Floundering champions Al Jazira were given a helping hand by Yasser Abdulla’s epic own goal in a 3-1 win against bottom-placed Al Dhafra.

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Al Wasl star Caio Canedo cannot believe first penalty miss of his career

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Al Wahda players celebrate after Caio Canedo's last-gasp penalty miss (Twitter/@AlWahdaFCC).

Al Wasl star Caio Canedo was left in shock after he missed the first penalty of his career in the dramatic final throes of Friday’s pulsating 4-3 defeat at Arabian Gulf League title rivals Al Wahda.

The epic contest, which featured a shared seven goals and two red cards for the hosts, was settled deep into extra time when the 12-goal forward stood over the ball from 12-yards out.

His low effort was then pushed away by UAE prospect Mohamed Al Shamsi to provide a grandstand finale.

Speaking in the wake of his failed attempt, a deflated Canedo said: “I’m sad because it’s the first time I’ve ever missed a penalty.

“The team has made a lot of mistakes, but I’m disappointed that I missed a penalty that would change the result.

“The title race remains open, despite our loss. I ask the public to support the players until the end.”

Wins for Al Ain and Wahda ensured Wasl ended the round four points off the pace.

Meanwhile, Sharjah boss Abdulaziz Al Anbari stoically took responsibility for his side’s surprise 3-1 home reversal at the hands of relegation fodder Hatta.

Brazilian pair Samuel Rosa and Fernando Gabriel were at the heart of a second-successive defeat for the King, who had previously won their last four games in all competitions.

“The technical bear this result, although we expected a better level from the players,” said Al Anbari, whose charges next face Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club on Friday.

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Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic is looking for Arabian Gulf League win upon his anniversary

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Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic (Al Ain).

Coach Zoran Mamic has declared it’s time to start adding trophies after he celebrated a year in charge of Al Ain.

Mamic, 46, replaced fellow Croatian Zlatko Dalic in the hot seat at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on February 1, 2017. The Boss went trophyless in 2016/17, but they’ve set the pace in the Arabian Gulf League for much of this season.

“The truth is that I had a great time during my first year with Al Ain,” said the ex-Dinamo Zagreb and Al Nassr supremo, ahead of Saturday’s visit of promoted Ajman.

“At the beginning of the mission, we were suffering from many problems.

Now the situation is different and the team is ready.

“We are on the right track, but football without trophies does not mean anything. It’s now time to win, because it’s good that the strong results are crowned with important achievements.” Meanwhile, Al Dhafra boss Gjoko Hadzievski is expecting a stern examination despite the continuing struggles of champions Al Jazira.

The Pride of Abu Dhabi have not won any of their last four top-flight fixtures and sit a distant sixth.

“Al Jazira remains a great team, who managed to win the championship last season with impressive results,” said the Macedonian, whose side are bottom. “This is regardless of their recent league losses.” Saturday’s final fixture sees Ivan Jovanovic’s revolution at Al Nasr put to the test at Dibba Al Fujairah.

The Serb beat Jazira 1-0 last-time out, in his first match back at the Blue Wave who sacked him in 2016.

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