Keeper’s clanger gifts points to the Sky Blues

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Keeper’s clanger gifts points to the Sky Blues

Bani Yas lucky to grab three precious points at Zabeel Stadium

By Alex Leach (senior Reporter)

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Published: Fri 24 Oct 2014, 2:58 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:31 PM

Dubai: A costly mistake from goalkeeper Ismail Rabee saw a precious point slip through his fingertips and match-winner Bandar Al Ahbabi clasp all three as Bani Yas beat Al Wasl at Zabeel Stadium on Thursday night.

First-half strikes at either end from Joan Verdu and Caio looked set to result in a share of the spoils until Rabee coughed up a gilt-edged chance late on and Al Ahbabi gratefully accepted it.

Bani Yas threatened first in this encounter as Angel Dealbert got looped a dipping header goalwards in the 20th minute. Thamer Mohammed got back to clear off the line, but he was regrettably to have a hand in Bani Yas’ opener nine minutes later.

He and Dennis Stracqualursi challenged for an aerial ball and the former handled in the act of bringing the pass back down under control. TV replays did indeed show contact, but it was a tight call as to whether Mohammed’s initial touch was just inside of the hosts’ penalty area or not.

Regardless, Verdu stepped up and impudently chipped the resultant spot-kick down the middle Panenka-style to leave Rabee sprawling on the turf. Wasl’s best opportunity to get back into this game appeared to come from dead-ball situations and Ederson clipped a dangerous free-kick agonisingly wide after Caio was felled by Ahmed Haboush on 37 minutes.

Saeed Al Kathiri then drilled a Hazza Salem long ball inches beyond the far post three minutes before the break as the Cheetahs pressed for a leveller that duly arrived in injury time; Caio contorting his body expertly to power home Salem Abdulla’s left-sided corner with a bullet header.

Buoyed by an equaliser on the stroke of half-time that presumably would have the interval cuppas all the sweeter, Wasl went in search of more following the restart.

They almost found it too eight minutes after the resumption. Ederson’s low diagonal drive was palmed out by Mohsin Al Hashmi to Al Kathiri, who simply couldn’t turn the follow-up home amid some last-ditch defending by the Sky Blues.

Suitably stirred, Luis Garcia’s men hit back with Dealbert blazing over and Verdu forcing an instinctive stop out of Rabee prior to the latter having a seemingly legitimate ‘goal’ ruled out, presumably for a perceived push in the build-up. Bani Yas were clearly on top at this stage, so it came as little surprise when Gabriel Calderon summoned his substitutes from off the bench first.

Garcia swiftly followed suit and his tinkering did the trick, with the visitors snatching the three points with six minutes left on the clock.

Rabee got down well to Verdu’s swirling set-piece and looked to have it covered until an inexplicable spillage allowed Al Ahbabi to tuck in the winner.

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