Al Ahli turn the heat on Al Wasl

Contrary to early expectations, Al Ahli ’keeper Majid Nasser remained cool towards the intentional provocations of Al Wasl fans after Al Ahli cruised to a sweeping 4-0 home victory over arch rivals Al Wasl in the 15th round of the Pro-League at Rashid Stadium here on Friday night.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Mon 18 Feb 2013, 12:05 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:50 AM

“I knew that in all cases some of the angry fans would try to provoke during and after the end of the game irrespective of the final score. I will never forget that I have spent part of my best days with Al Wasl, but football fans have to understand that time has changed and the spirit of professionalism should prevail. Right now, my team is Al Ahli and not Al Wasl and by the end of the day it was a game and not a war,” Nasser said in a post-match chat.

Formerly known as the ‘troublesome lad’, Nasser was forced to quit Al Wasl following series of suspensions and punishments by the FA and the club itself. Ironically, in one of the incidents Nasser attempted to attack Al Ahli Spanish coach Flores Quique! And later he misbehaved in front of the club’s patron Shaikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Al Wasl was very close to the AGCC Club Championship title after leading 3-1 in the away leg against Bahrain’s Al Muharraq, but they went 1-3 down to the same club at home and lost on penalties. The match was attended by Shaikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Nasser attacked a Al Muharraq player following which the management of the club and the FA reacted very strongly by giving the custodian a 17-match suspension. Nasser was never selected for the national squad thereafter.

However, Al Ahli came out on top in what is traditionally known as ‘Dubai football derby’ to thrash Al Wasl 4-0 with a clinical display of finishing.

The home team only needed eight minutes to draw first blood. Abdelaziz Haikal operated from the right flank and crossed to the attacking midfielder Luis Jiminez, who fired home a first-time low range shot to make 1-0 for the home team. Towards the 23rd minute, Ahmad Khalil doubled the scoreline after making the best of a back heeled through from Jimenez. This was also the result at half-time.

As the second half got underway, it was much of the same from both sides as Al Ahli continued to trouble Al Wasl’s defenders. In the 68th minute, Ismail Al Hammadi teased a dangerous ball into the box, and Al Wasl defender Yaser Salam failed to clear his lines as confusion reigned in the area. Al Ahli’s Yousif Mohamed was the quickest to take decisive action, slotting the ball home to put Al Ahli 3-0 up.

Rounding off the scoring, the skillful Jiminez notched up an assist as his fine pass split the Al Wasl defence and found Al Hammadi, who dispatched a powerful shot past Rashed Ali in the visitors’ goal, making it 4-0 in the 75th minute.

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