After a goalless first half stalemate which has also tested the patience of coach Diego Maradona, Argentina’s Mariano Donda broke the deadlock in the opening minutes of the second half with a short range shot.
Towards the 85th minute, Al Wasl’s captain Essa Ali made the best of a poor clearance by the Emirates inexperienced defenders to double the score-line before he headed home the third goal in the injury time.
In another clash, a last gasp strike by Ibrahim Toure, salvaged a 1-1 draw for Ajman against hosts Bani Yas at Al Shamkha Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Adnan Hussain put the home team Bani Yas ahead in the first half and Ibrahim Toure levelled the score in the injury time with a beautiful airborne backward.
Al Wasl have virtually dominated the field and set their pace right from the onset, but did very little to make their presence felt upfront. Emirates keeper Mohammed Saeed Jumaa made some courageous saves to keep his net clean throughout the first half.
“I know against whom we were playing,” said the Emirates U-19 coach Khaled Al Suwaidi who admitted that they didn’t trouble Al Wasl’s defenders or threat their international keeper Majid Nasser.
“You are talking about U-19 squad facing the big names of the Diego Maradona-trained team,” he noted.
The Ras Al Khaimah outfit are fielding the second eleven in the Etisalat Cup following the decision of the senior squad’s coach Ghazi Al Gharairi to focus on the main competitions — the UAE Pro-League and the President Cup.
“It’s the club’s board decision to prepare the second eleven for the future and at the same time well tune the senior squad for the challenges ahead to avoid last year’s sad relegation,” he clarified.
The Emirates won the President Cup in 2009 and claimed a place in the continent’s prestigious tournament, the 2010 AFC Champions League.
Despite not having much luck in the local competition which ended with undue relegation to the lower level, the Emirates did very well in the Champions League but without much success beyond the preliminary round. With this result, Al Wasl have sealed a first win in two starts after a last-minute heartbreaking 3-4 defeat at the hands of champions Al Jazira while Bani Yas have grasped the first point of the tournament following their stunning 1-4 defeat against hosts Al Shabab last weekend.
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