Gabriel Calderon celebrated his first win as Al Wasl manager with a much needed 1-0 victory over Sharjah at Sharjah Stadium.
Calderon, who replaced Jorginho as Al Wasl manager earlier this month, will have been relieved by the win and pleased with the manner in which his side stuck to its task.
Wasl took the lead in the 32nd minute as two of Jorginho’s Brazilian recruits combined.
Excellent work from Caio from the Wasl left wing allowed the Brazilian to cut the ball back to his compatriot Fabio de Lima who made no mistake from ten yards.
Despite Sharjah’s best efforts to get back into the match, Wasl stood firm to secure their first win since beating bottom club Ittihad Kalba in week two.
Sharjah have now gone three games without a win and slip to twelfth thanks to this defeat.
Elsewhere, Bani Yas struck three goals in the last thirteen minutes to overcome Ajman 3-0 at Bani.
Neither side could break down the other a turgid first-half and it took the home side until the 77th minute to find the breakthrough.
Joan Verdu’s fourth goal of the season handed Bani the lead before Denis Stracqualursi netted his first goal for the club just three minutes later.
His second soon followed with the Argentine at the double in the 90th minute to seal victory for Luis Garcia’s men.
Ajman drop into the AGL’s relegation places as a result of the defeat, their fourth of the season.
Mirko Vucinic continued his incredible start to life at Al Jazira, scoring three goals in his side’s 4-0 win away at Ittihad Kalba.
The Montenegran added his eleventh and twelfth goals of the season in the first-half to send his side into second-place and just a single point off of top of the league, Al Wahda.
Jonathan Pitroipa added a fourth late on.
His thirteenth came just seven minutes into the second-half and completed his second hat-trick of the season, having netter four against Al Ain.
Vucinic’s first came from a smart finish under the advancing Mohamed Osman Barout after being set free by a smart Manuel Lanzini flick on from a Pitroipa pass as all three of Jazira’s summer signings combined with devastating effect.
The former Juventus striker scored his second from the penalty spot, Vucinic’s fourth from 12-yards already this season.
The third was an embarrassingly simple tap-in from Abdullah Mousa’s long ball over the top that was completely misjudged by the Kalba defenders.
Pitroipa’s strike in the 86th minute came courtesy of some shambolic defending in the Kalba penalty area. Kalba failed to clear their lines, the ball eventually falling to the Burkina Faso forward who lashed home with his left foot.
Kalba came closest when they struck a post in the first 45 but were unable to cope with Eric Gerets’ men in every department. The result leaves the newly-promoted home side rock bottom of the AGL and still winless with one point.
In Tuesday’s other early evening kick-off, Al Nasr left it late to secure a 1-0 win at home to Al Dhafra.
Goalless draws are unfamiliar territory in the AGL and Nasr’s dominance in possession failed to transfer into goals until the 90th minute as the Blue Wave struggled to convert a number of chances.
Nasr’s winner came courtesy of Mahmoud Khamis’ stunning effort which sent his side fourth in the table.
Khamis let fly from the left wing and his unstoppable effort flew past Abdulla Sultan and into the top corner, much to the delight of Nasr boss Ivan Ivanovic.
Dhafra remain without a win in tenth.
Gabriel Calderon has admitted Al Wasl cannot afford to wait any longer to claim a first Arabian Gulf League triumph under his aegis.
The Cheetahs sit second bottom of the table, with the Argentine yet to turnaround their form since taking charge a fortnight ago following the dismissal of Jorginho.
A 2-2 draw was claimed against leaders Al Wahda on debut, but this was followed by the disappointing 2-1 loss to fellow strugglers Bani Yas. The latest chance to register an invaluable three-point haul comes tonight at Sharjah.
Calderon said: “I have a lot of confidence in this team; everybody knows we introduced 17 new players over the summer but every day I see them getting better together and I truly believe that another victory will come soon, but we need it as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, Eric Gerets has challenged his Al Jazira players to prove they are title contenders by seeing off bottom-placed Ittihad Kalba.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi have scored and conceded with abandon this term. The Belgian hopes for a more conventional evening against opponents who have registered just one point from seven matches.
He said: “We must come back to Abu Dhabi with three points if we want to stay on the right track and if we are serious about putting more pressure on the first-place team.
“If we do our job with minimum mistakes and give all we have then we will win.”