AGL: Top picks from round 24

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[Photo Credit: Al Jazira Twitter]

Al Jazira were crowned champions in the Arabian Gulf League on Saturday with a 5-0 win over Hatta.

Here’s a look at our top picks in round 24.

Do you agree with our selections?

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PLAYER OF THE WEEK

MOURAD BATNA (EMIRATES CLUB)

If this brace in the vital win against Ittihad Kalba is the Moroccan winger’s parting gift, the Falcons will be forever in his debt. The Al Wahdabound star’s brace has increased hopes of staying up, ahead of Wednesday’s clash at Bani Yas.

COACH OF THE WEEK

HENK TEN CATE (AL JAZIRA)

A 5-0 dismantling of Hatta was the perfect way to wrap up the title. Ten Cate has revitalised an ailing club, who are, unquestionably, worthy winners. With him also turning down the Netherlands job, the challenge is ensuring more follow.

Al Jazira boss Henk ten Cate.

GOAL OF THE WEEK

ASAMOAH GYAN (AL AHLI)

It’s been a season to forget for Al Ahli loanee Asamoah Gyan, but there was a reminder of his epic contribution to UAE football during the 2-2 draw versus Sharjah.

His penalty marked a double landmark, as his 100-goal tally saw him overtake Anderson Barbosa as the competition’s leading foreign goal scorer. Sadly, this is more of a testament to his prowess at Al Ain from 2011-15.


TALKING POINTS

WHAT’S BEHIND WAHDA WOES?

Al Wahda suffered a cruel evening against rivals Al Ain, levelling up from two-goals down before conceding an awful 94th-minute winner. The President’s Cup final awaits, but such a talented team should not be languishing in a distant fifth.

Wasted chances detailed the early months, while they now haven’t earned an AGL clean sheet since January. Coach Javier Aguirre will leave in the summer. His successor faces a puzzling task getting such a fine squad back on track.

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On the dotted line: Al Wasl parade Rodolfo Arruabarrena (Al Wasl).

AFC Champions League-chasing Al Wasl have received a huge boost for the final weeks of the season after boss Rodolfo Arruabarrena inked a contract extension on Sunday.

Since his summer arrival, the 41-year-old has rejuvenated a club who’d registered consecutive sixth-placed finishes under irascible fellow Argentinian Gabriel Calderon.

The Cheetahs are currently in the third-and-final qualification spot, with only two games left. They last played in the competition in 2008.

The terms of the agreement with the ex-Boca Juniors boss have not been revealed.

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AGL Awards: De Lima, Mabkhout head final list

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In the mix: Al Wasl star Fabio De Lima (Pro League Committee)

Al Wasl’s Fabio De Lima and Al Jazira’s Ali Mabkhout are the early favourites to come away with the major gongs after the final shortlist for the 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League Awards were revealed.

The great and good will be celebrated on May 15. Five categories – representing best Emirati, foreigner, coach, goalkeeper and youngster – from 10 were voted on last month.

Striker Mabkhout, 26, is the division’s top scorer with 31 goals. The newly-crowned AGL champion will compete against the last two AFC Players of the Year in Al Ain schemer Omar Abdulrahman and Ahli attacker Ahmed Khalil for the Golden Ball Award for Emiratis.

Forward De Lima, 23, has netted 24 times. His exploits saw him emerge alongside team-mate Caio Canedo and Al Ahli centre forward Makhete Diop in Foreign Player.

Jazira coach Henk ten Cate, Ahli’s Cosmin Olaroiu and Wasl’s Rodolfo Arruabarrena are up for The Leader. Goalkeepers Majed Nasser (Ahli), Ali Khaseif (Jazira) and Khalid Essa (Al Ain) are the finalists for The Golden Glove, with Khalfan Mubarak (Jazira), Jassem Yaqoub (Al Nasr) and Mohamed Al Akbari (Al Wahda) are competing for Golden Boy.

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