A brilliant piece of work from just outside the danger area by Thiago Neves saw visiting Al Jazira edge hosts Al Shabab 2-1 in a round 18 Arabian Gulf League soccer encounter, late Sunday night.
At half time Dubai's Shabab were ahead, but two goals in the second half saw the visitors from the Capital walk away with three points.
Mohamed Ayed gave the home side the lead in the 44th minute which Ali Mabkhout neutralised four minutes after the lemon break.
Three quarters into the Shabab territory, a superb one touch trap that caught a midfielder on the wrong foot, saw Neves go full thrust forward and when a defender desperately tried to stop his progress, the Jazira star half scooped and half booted a high soft curler that caught the advancing Shabab keeper and skipper Ali Khasief out of his ground for the match winner, in the 80th minute.
For Jazira the skills of Jong Woo Park who handled the midfield operations with authority was the backbone of the stripped jerseys' output for the night. Angel Lafita and Neves complemented Jong's hardwork with clever straight down the middle runs to keep the home half line and defenders busy.
On one such occasion, in the 58th minute, a freekick from deep inside the half, the powerfully built Kenwyne Jones headed towards the second post to the far right and surprisingly the Green jerseys did not show enough urgency as Jones' header looked like curling away, just when Mabkhout darted in to head home the equaliser (1-1).
Initial moves on either side of the field early in the first half saw carefully constructed setplays being tried out with the Hawks (Shabab) being the more adventurous.
The 31st incision on the left by forward Manei Mohamed saw the visitors' defence lines in disarray and the tailor made ground pass to Juninho Potiguar saw the latter muff the great opening with only the goalkeeper to beat from just about four metres from the goalline.
Potiguar's opposite number (99) in the Jazira ranks - Jones - proved to be more than a handful on several occasions when the stripped men of The Pride of Abu Dhabi weaved through the inside on the right side. However Shabab captain and goalkeeper Salem Abdulla and his troops manning the home lines near the goal, led by Mohammed Ayed, Mohammed Marzooq and Manei who was prepared always to fall back during emergencies, kept the opponents away from big danger.
Lafita was a great ally in the moves Jones made from the right half position, keeping the left wing defenders and halfliners of the home side busy in the latter part of the first session.
Shabab defender Mohamed Ayed, coming forward to assist his attackers outjumped the long line of Jazira defenders from a difficult position to head in a wonderful freekick taken from the left in the 44th minute to provide some cheer for the home supporters (1-0). Striker Mohammad Juma's long floater went head high and the ball curled towards the penalty spot area to make Ayed's job slightly easier.