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Al Wahda players pay tribute to Bryant

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on January 29, 2020
Al Wahda's Mohammed Al Menhali makes a clearance off Fujairah's Jefferson in the Arabian Gulf League on Wednesday. - AGL

The Clarets dedicated Khamis Ismail's goal to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash, by holding up a team jersey with Bryant's No.8 and No.24 inscribed on it.

Shabab Al Ahli continued their reign at the top of Arabian Gulf League table with a solitary goal win over Hatta on Wednesday.

The Al Quasis club had to dig deep before seeing of Hatta with Federico Cartabia scoring the winner on the half hour, at the Rashid Stadium.

Both teams went in with a 4-2-3-1 formation and it was not until the 30 minutes, that Shabab Al Ahli found a way through. Yousef Jaber darted down the left before sending an inch-perfect pass for Cartabia. And the 27-year-old Argentine, on loan from Spanish second division club Deportivo La Coruna, volleyed it home past shot stopper Darwish bin Habib.

The victory, Shabab Al Ahli's 11th and seventh at home, took them to 35 points, thus extending their cushion at the top to eight points.

Elsewhere, Khamis Ismail unleashed a screamer, five minutes from time, as Al Wahda nudged past 10-man Fujairah 2-1 at the Al Nahyan Stadium.

Sebastian Tagliabue, who was granted UAE citizenship, cancelled out Jefferson Matues' 69th minute strike, on 80 minutes.

With the clock ticking down a stalemate looked a plausible outcome but Ismail, who joined from Al Wasl during the winter transfer window, surprised everyone with a powerful long ranger past shot stopper Abdullah Al Tamimi.

Ismail and his teammates dedicated the goal to basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash, by holding up an Al Wahda jersey with Bryant's No.8 and No.24 inscribed on it.

Late on Tuesday night, the Bur Dubai Derby between Al Wasl and Al Nasr ended in a goalless draw.

james@khaleejtimes.com



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