Ali Mabkhout’s solitary goal was enough to beat East Asia’s finest as Jazira usurped the previous poor efforts of Al Ahli (2009) and Al Wahda (2010) in this competition.
Jazira should have been behind just before the half-hour mark. Waturu Endo released Yuki Moto who delivered a superb cross into the centre where Shinzo Koroki had ghosted behind the defence. The veteran inexplicably ballooned over with only Ali Khaseif to beat from inside the six yard box.
It seemed to provide the spark the hometown team needed. Striker Mabkhout broke down the right and his low cross needed to be toed behind by Japan’s Shusaku Nishikawa.
That excited the home crowd and they were almost celebrating the opener from the resulting corner when Mbark Boussoufa tricked his way past Shinya Yajima, Musallem Fayez met the cross and his header was palmed behind by Nishikawa.
The usually lethal Mabkhout cursed himself when his touch let him down after an intelligent Mohammed Al Attas lofted pass . They’d gained the ascendency at the break and soon after the restart, Jazira gained the lead, too.
Brazilian Romarinho, who rocketed Jazira to this stage with the only goal against Auckland on Wednesday, feathered a fine througball to release Ali Mabkhout on goal. There’s no deadlier finisher in UAE football and he finished with aplomb, nutmegging Nishikawa.
A response from the Reds duly arrived, Tomoaki Makino’s header was heading in before deflecting behind off Yaqoob Yousef.
They almost equalised out of nothing when Khaseif spilled Muto’s tame strike but as a startled Koroki struggled to set himself, Khaseif made amends.
Apart from that there was precious little created by Takafumi Hori’s troops thereafter. A subdued Rafael Silva awoke at the death to clip a post, but Jazira soaked up the pressure with relative ease and were well worth victory.
Here’s a look at the Al Jazira player ratings.
Ali Khaseif 7
The UAE stopper was a safe pair of hands apart from his blunder that almost saw Urawa level. But after making the error, he exonerated himself with a save
Musallem Fayez 7
One of Ten Cate’s dependables, probably why he’s been shifted to right-back for the last two games. Fiercely committed as usual, didn’t put a foot wrong
Mohamed Ali Ayed 6
Hasn’t played a lot of football this season and in the team due to injuries, but was committed. One crunching tackle typified Jazira’s hunger
Fares Juma 7
Came to the capital last summer from Al Ain where he couldn’t get a game. Mesmerising as he’s been a rock for Jazira. Was solid as ever here
Salim Rashid 6
Has established himself on both Jazira’s right and left side of defence. Defended stoutly but also offered plenty going forward. He may not be special but he’s reliable
Salem Abdulla 6
Eyebrows were raised when he was brought in last summer by the club from Al Wasl. Is a perfect foil for Rashid on the right, both are solid if unspectacular
Mohmed Al Attas 7
The versatile youngster belied his inexperienced years to put in a mature display. His insightful throughball to Mabkhout could have yielded a goal
Yaqoob Yousef 7
Received his customary yellow card, albeit for a perfect tackle. His usual busy self, harrying opposing players when in possession, if unspectacular himself with the ball
Has shone briefly since a summer switch from Qatar and contributed with goals. But his pass for Mabkhout’s goal was his most important contribution yet
Mbark Boussoufa 8
The metronomic Moroccan was at his devilish best. Probing Urawa with insightful passes and dragging defenders out of position for colleagues to exploit.
Ali Mabkhout 8
Was pretty poor up until his goal. But if there’s one player you’d pick in UAE football to finish a chance like he had, it’s the most deadly finisher in the Arabian Gulf League
The Ballon d'Or winner for 2017 is set to be announced on Thursday in Paris.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are unsurprisingly front-runners for the award once again.
The duo have dominated in recent years with Kaka being the last player other than Ronaldo or Messi to win it back in 2007.
The Portuguese is arguably the favourite having won the Champions League and La Liga with Real Madrid.
How much do you know about the Ballon d'Or?
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Although Lanus had produced four second-half goals against River Plate in the return leg of the semi-finals, there would be no miracle comeback this time.
Jose Sand converted a penalty in the 72nd to pull back one goal, but the Argentine side were denied a first Copa Libertadores title.
Gremio added their third title to those they won in 1983 and 1995.