Former Spain and Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo was among the goals as Al Nasr roared into the Arabian Gulf Cup knockouts with a 2-0 victory at Al Dhafra in Group A’s winner-takes-all finale.
Victory for either side in the pool stage’s final match-day would have seen them join Al Ain, Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club and Al Jazira in next Friday’s quarter-finals. Strikes from Negredo and teenage Brazilian centre-back Glauber ensured the Blue Wave finished third, while demoting Saturday’s hosts to an agonising fifth-placed finish.
Elsewhere, a consequential hat-trick from 2019/20 AG Cup top scorer Fabio De Lima witnessed Al Wasl defeat Ajman 3-2 and progress into the last eight.
Fujairah’s 3-0 technicality victory against Bani Yas on Thursday had meant the Cheetahs needed to beat Group B’s bottom-placed outfit to advance along with the aforementioned Wolves, holders Al Wahda and Arabian Gulf League victors Sharjah. 2017/18’s beaten finalists then came back from 1-0 down and 2-2 apiece to seal their continuation at Zabeel Stadium.
All four quarter-final ties will be played on the same evening. Al Ain will host Sharjah, Wasl are set to make the short trip to Shabab Al Ahli, Wahda welcome Jazira in an Abu Dhabi derby and Fujairah meet Nasr.
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