Round 25 of the 2018/19 Arabian Gulf League delivered several stellar displays, at both ends of the table.
Brazilian playmaker Igor Coronado was decisive as long-term leaders Sharjah finally got their hands on the title. At the bottom, Dibba Al Fujairah gave themselves a fresh shot at a final-day salvage job with a spirited 3-1 victory against Ittihad Kalba.
Here are Sport360’°s top picks and a talking point:
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Igor Coronado (Sharjah)
So often during a revelatory 2018/19, Sharjah have looked to their €6 million Brazilian playmaker for inspiration.
On almost every occasion, the summer buy from Palermo has answered the call. This was the case again on Thursday when his two goals helped secure the 3-2 victory against Al Wahda that secured a first title in 23 years. What a player.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
Mohamed Al Akbari (Al Nasr)
Light at the end of the tunnel, for Nasr and their promising forward.
Injury, off-field worries about brother Ahmed and his new club’s wretched campaign have tempered the output of a bright prospect.
But a 3-0 win at Fujairah was lit up by his dummy, searching run and delightful volley from Spanish star Alvaro Negredo’s deft chip. Some goal.
COACH OF THE WEEK
Mohamed Al Khaddeim (Dibba Al Fujairah)
The great escape is still on for minnows Dibba Al Fujairah.
The Fishermen have spent the vast majority of 2018/19 moored to the bottom of the table. Their 3-1, come-from-behind win at Ittihad Kalba, however, has provided much-needed hope.
Caretaker Al Khaddeim must now beat Bani Yas in Saturday’s final game – and wish for the best.
Who can reclaim the crown?
Sharjah emerged from nowhere to roar towards merited success.
Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club, however, have responded with 12 wins from their last 13 games. With a substantial summer budget expected, watch them rise further.
At Al Ain, coach Pedro Emanuel is poised to be poached from Saudi Arabia upstarts Al Taawoun ahead of a full summer refit. This represents a promising start.
Sharjah’s challenge should be answered. Intrigue awaits for 2019/20.
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