Al Matroushi scores on Al Jazira debut

Al Matroushi scores on Al Jazira debut
Khor Fakkan's Dodo (left) shoots past Al Jazira's Ali Mabkhout in the Arabian Gulf Cup on Thursday night. - AGL

Dubai - The Pride of Abu Dhabi beat promoted side Khor Fakkan 3-1 in Arabian Gulf Cup

By James Jose

Published: Thu 22 Aug 2019, 10:06 PM

Last updated: Fri 23 Aug 2019, 12:11 AM

Faisal Al Matroushi scored the first goal of the new season as Al Jazira ran out winners against Khor Fakkan in the Arabian Gulf Cup on Thursday night.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who was making his debut, opened the scoring as the Pride of Abu Dhabi won the Group A fixture 3-1 at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.
Al Jazira had faced a stiff challenge from the promoted side with Pedro Junior cancelling out Al Matroushi's opener.
But their experience told in the end as Khalfan Mubarak and Sultan Al Ghaferi scored on 77 and 82 minutes respectively.
The win perched Al Jazira on top of the group although it is still early days as the rest of the games will be played over the weekend.
Elsewhere, Ajman and promoted Hatta played out a goalless stalemate in a Group B match at the Rashid bin Saeed Stadium.
With the players faced with muggy conditions, it was a rather tepid start to proceedings but it picked up as the game wore on.
And Al Jazira came up against stoic opponents who were making their bow in the top flight after earning promotion from the First Division.
The visitors could have gone ahead as early as the seventh minute when Nawaf Al Hammadi embarked on a fine run down the right and teed it up for Dodo. But the latter's effort from close range was brilliantly stopped by Al Jazira shot stopper Ali Khaseif.
Al Jazira slowly found their bearings and drew first blood with Al Matroushi playing a one-two with Khalifa Mubarak before being put through on goal. And the youngster kept his composure to tuck it past the goalkeeper Mohamed Yousif and into the left corner of the net on 14 minutes. The goal got Al Matroushi a hug and a pat from coach Jurgen Streppel.
It was end to end action with Adel Sebil's long-ranged grounder going wide of the post on the rebound, after Bismark Ferreira's freekick had ran into the wall.
Al Jazira showed a bit more creativity in the final third after the mandatory drinks break at the half hour but it was Khor Fakkan who levelled things on 39 minutes.
Al Ghaferi attempted to clear off a corner but could only manage to lay it down Pedro's path. And the Brazilian striker needed no second invitation.
Abdalla Ramadan's left-footed effort following a solo was safely collected by Yousif and that brought an end to the first half.
Al Jazira came out a different side in the second half and their hunger showed with Khalfan Mubarak slotting it home following a pass from substitute Bader Al Shabibi.
And Ghaferi atoned for his earlier lapse, whipping it from well outside the box, from a corner which was straight out of the training ground.

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