Arabian Gulf Cup win for Al Wasl

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The Cheetahs are now top of Group A.

The ex-Boca Juniors coach – smartly attired in shirt and tie despite the draining humidity in Dubai – watched on as forwards Caio Canedo and Fabio De Lima struck in the first half.

The routine 2-0 triumph took the Cheetahs top of Group A, but the free-flowing style in which it was attained would have pleased the 41-year-old most.

With the aforementioned Brazilian duo plus playmaker Ronaldo Mendes and Portuguese winger Helder Barbosa already in tune, next week’s Arabian Gulf League bow at Al Jazira can be relished.

For Tornados boss Walid Al Balooshi, this was another reality check ahead of the club’s debut top-flight campaign in the professional era. His First Division League champions created few chances at their temporary home of Al Nasr’s Al Maktoum Stadium, Burkina Faso striker Issiaka Ouedraogo left isolated in this follow up to the opening 2-1 loss at Al Dhafra.

The breakthrough came on 38 minutes as Canedo smartly spun past centre-back Mahmoud Al Balooshi and fired into the bottom corner. This lead was doubled before the break as lethal De Lima – who struck 20 times in the 2015/16 AGL – nodded home a deep Mendes corner.

The tempo dropped after the break because of the conditions, with Hatta notably ailing as they get used to the elite pace.

Mendes wasted the best opportunity, his penalty being saved to goalkeeper Saif Al Bdi’s left after full-back Ali Alkhaja’s amateurish handball.

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