Al Ahli outclass 10-man Al Wasl in Arabian Gulf League

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Al Ahli outclass 10-man Al Wasl in Arabian Gulf League

Grafite was thrown in from the start on this occasion and he duly made an immediate impact.

By Alex Leach - Senior Reporter

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Published: Sun 28 Sep 2014, 1:31 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:34 PM

Dubai: Grafite announced his return to Cosmin Olaroiu’s starting XI with a first-half brace and an assist in Al Ahli’s 5-1 victory over 10-man Al Wasl at Zabeel Stadium here on Friday evening.

Having previously been restricted to two substitute appearances, the 35-year-old veteran was thrown in from the start on this occasion and he duly made an immediate impact.

KT Photos by Mukesh Kamal

Indeed, Ahli went ahead after just seven minutes as Habib Fardan’s incisive pass found the Brazilian striker, who skipped past goalkeeper Obaid Al Taweela before rolling home beyond two backtracking defenders and into an unguarded net.

Wasl drew level inside the quarter of an hour mark though with Mohammed Salem’s long ball forward picking out an advancing Ederson, who lofted a looping header out of returning Cheetahs keeper Majed Naser’s reach and in off the far post.

Ismaeel Al Hammadi and Grafite then spurned presentable chances to score the Red Knights’ second strike amid some pensive defending from their hesitant hosts.

Another such gilt-edged opportunity arrived on 27 minutes nonetheless and – this time – there was to be no reprieve. Thamer Mohammed was adjudged to have fouled Walid Abbas in the penalty area from a Luis Jimenez corner and Ahli’s club captain strode up to plant the subsequent spot-kick into the bottom right-hand corner.

Wasl’s worsening plight wasn’t helped either with nine minutes left of the first half as Ahmed Al Shamisi was booked for a foul on Jimenez. He petulantly reacted by applauding referee Ammar Al Junaibi and retribution was swift; a second caution for dissent instantaneously offering up a resultant red.

Jorginho’s agitated reaction in the home dugout spoke volumes and his mood won’t have been alleviated with Hugo Viana peppering Al Taweela’s goal almost at will prior to the half-time whistle.

The second period was only mere moments old when Ahli doubled their advantage; Grafite’s cut back was partially cleared by the hapless Mohammed, but only to Jimenez who swept in the rebound.

The attacking midfielder then chalked up his second – and Ahli’s fourth overall – before a full hour was up. Ghosting in unattended at the back post, Jimenez chested down Viana’s racking cross-field pass and cashed in agilely with a crisp finish.

Some of Wasl’s faithful headed for the exit gates at this point. They were wise to do so too as Ahli plugged away undeterred for a fifth, which ultimately arrived in second-half stoppage time; Fardan teeing up Jimenez to seal his hat-trick with a dainty flick of his right boot.

Al Wasl: Obaid Al Taweela, Abdalla Saleh, Ederson, Neto Berola (Khalifa Abdulla 45), Fabio Lima, Thamer Mohammed (Waheed Ismail 62), Ahmed Al Shamisi, Salem Abdulla, Mohammed Salem, Hazza Salem, Caio. Substitutes not used: Jamal Ali, Khalifa Lahej, Salem Masoud, Yaser Salem, Adnan Hussein.

Al Ahli: Majed Naser, Salmeen Khamis (Abdelaziz Haikal 62), Habib Fardan, Walid Abbas, Ismaeel Al Hammadi (Ahmed Khalil 63), Mirel Radoi, Luis Jimenez, Grafite (Nawaf Mubarak Musabh 76), Hugo Viana, Basheer Saeed, Abdulaziz Sanquor. Substitutes not used: Saif Yousif, Saad Surour, Saeed Ahmed, Humaid Abbas. Attendance: 5,601.

Al Wasl 1

(Goals: Ederson 14. Yellow cards: Salem Abdulla 10, Ahmed Al Shamisi x2 36, Hazza Salem 89. Red card: Ahmed Al Shamisi 37)

Al Ahli 5

(Goals: Grafite 7, pen 27, Jimenez 46, 57, 90. Yellow cards: Basheer Saeed 41, Salmeen Khamis 45, Ahmed Khalil 70)

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