Al Nasr wrap up season with easy victory

Al Nasr wrap up season with easy victory
Al Nasr finished fourth after defeating Fujairah.

By Moni Mathews

Published: Sun 8 May 2016, 10:51 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 May 2016, 12:55 AM

Hosts Al Nasr ended their 2015-2016 Arabian Gulf League campaign with a commanding 3-1 victory against Fujairah, Sunday night.
The result meant Al Nasr finished fourth and they will now play in the AFC Champions League play-offs while Fujairah joined Al Shaab back in divison one.
 At half time the visitors kept the issue goalless thanks mainly to the splendid work by the Fujairah keeper Mohammad Salem.
The second half began like the first half did when the home side dictated terms, and they finally notched one in the 57th minute. Jires Kembo-Ekoko slide headed a beautiful cross from skipper Luis Jimenez past the advancing Fujairah goalie Salem (1-0).
Four minutes later Kembo-Ekoko drove in for the second goal to put the Blues in a comfortable position (2-0), and in the 65th minute Nilmar very nearly made it a three-goal cushion when he saw Salem go airborne to make one of his many stupendous saves for the night.
 Fujairah came up with a couple of counter raids with assists from second half substitute Ibrahim Khameis and playmaker striker Patrick Eze with 15 minutes remaining in the encounter. In the 79th minute Christophe Mandanne did well to cut into the right hand corner of the danger area but shot wide instead of targeting the second post on the left side.
 Hassan Matouk brought the game alive with a penalty conversion in the 82nd minute to reduce Al Nasr's lead (1-2) when a defender was pulled up for 'hands' earlier during a counter raid. However, Fujairah unnecessarily fouled Jonathan Pitroipa in the 84th minute and captain Luis Jimenez made no mistake from the spotkick (3-1).
 As early as in the third minute the Blues' Nilamar had just the goalkeeper to beat but spurned the chance as the keeper tackled him at the right moment after Jonathan Pitroipia had done the assist work for the home side.
 A great piece of work on the outer right saw Ahmed Salim cross well but all the onrushing Nasr forwards missed the trajectory of the ball in the 11th minute. Long and curly haired Rahid Jalal was given a fine opening by the Fujairah halfline to try out from a comfortable angle in the 12th minute but his righter footer ended up as a feeble effort that went wide.
Fujairah had the best chance in the half to rocket themselves ahead but Patrick Eze's bullet like waist high connection went wide from as close as three metres with only goalkeeper Ahmed Shambih to beat.
 Fujairah keeper Mohammed Salem kept the scoreline goalless on two occasions with excellent diving saves off tries from the tireless worker Nilamar, one at the cost of a corner which proved abortive in the 27th and 29 minutes. Salem again rose to the occasion to make a finger tip deflection off a long Pitroipa grounder in the 32nd minute, and off the resultant corner kick which again the Blues could not capitalise on.
The home side gave the handful of supporters for the night plenty to remember with excellent interchange of positions and cross passing that confused the red and white defence. In the 38th minute Salem came to his side's rescue when he denied Al Nasr's Tariq Ahmed as the latter attempted a curling long range right footer.
Minutes later Fujairah's Hassan Matouk was put through with a beauty all along the carpet by Eze, and he came close to slicing up the home defence till he slipped while going to attempt a right footer.

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