An excitable and sizable crowd streamed into Zabeel Stadium to see the Bur Dubai honours contested between Al Wasl and Al Nasr on Friday night. The yellow contingent left the packed arena elated, a brace from man-of-the-moment Fabio de Lima salvaging a 2-2 draw during a contest that burst into life at the death.
The 21-year-old Brazilian looked to have had his thunder stolen by Ibrahima Toure after opening the scoring three minutes into the second half. The Senegal international stood up to strike a late double that put the boisterous Blue Wave travelling support – all too briefly – into rapture.
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A week on from being the inspiration behind the 4-0 thumping of Arabian Gulf League champions Al Ahli, Fabio was the man in the right place in injury time to nod in a leveller from close range to save the day for the hosts.
An unseasonably warm evening did not prove conducive to producing flowing football, a day-long sandstorm cloaking the city and trapping in the draining desert heat. Watching former Chelsea defender Dan Pestrscu – linked previously to AGL coaching jobs – would not have been roused until the breathless final moments.
Both will need to find an extra gear if they are to threaten a late run into the AFC Champions League qualification spots.
It took until the 40th-minue of a tense first half featuring deep defensive lines and few willing runners for a clear chance to emerge. Squat Cheetahs forward Ederson Alves was the man in question, inches too small to head in his 10th goal of the campaign.
He turned provider three minutes after the interval, his low cross slid home by countryman Fabio.
Nasr only came alive after the 70th-minute mark. Delightful Spain winger Pablo Hernandez used smart feet to create space, only for his low effort to disappoint.
His class, however, was all over Toure’s 77th-minute breakthrough. A deft header played the Senegal striker in, characteristic composure seeing him slot home a ninth top-flight strike of the campaign.
A 10th followed soon after, the 29-year-old racing clear down the right to slot through goalkeeper Yousif Abdulla’s legs.
The gloating Nasr support was soon quietened. A deep cross picked out Ederson, heading back for compatriot Fabio to bundle home.
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