Holders Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club’s Arabian Gulf Cup title defence was harmed on Saturday night when Al Dhafra inflicted their first defeat of this edition.
Defender Mohammed Saif got the scoring under way at Rashid Stadium when he was on hand to convert the rebound from Joao Pedro’s header just before half-time. The aforementioned Brazilian striker – who missed a 15th-minute penalty following a handball from Leonardo – then got on the score sheet himself when he headed a loose ball home, sending the Western Knights top of Group A at the expense of their hosts thanks to a memorable 2-0 victory.
In Group B, another Brazilian hit man Jhonnattann forced the only goal when Fujairah beat promoted Hatta 1-0.
The 30-year-old charged inside the penalty area in the 47th minute and lashed home. This result moved Madjid Bougherra’s men into the top two, while Hatta stay bottom.
The evening’s action was rounded off in style when Arabian Gulf League champions Sharjah thrashed 10-man Al Wasl 4-0.
Ex-UAE winger Tariq Ahmed, Hamad Jasim , Omar Jumaa and Rafael Resende netted in Group B. At the other end, Khamis Esmail was dismissed for two yellow cards.
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