Emirates punish Sharjah to claim full points

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Emirates punish Sharjah to claim full points
Action during the first-round match.

Published: Sat 9 Sep 2017, 10:58 PM

Last updated: Sun 10 Sep 2017, 1:03 AM

Emirates have started their new season in great style. The team from Ras Al Khaimah, which had pocketed just one win in the last Arabian Gulf Cup season, thrashed Sharjah 2-0 in the Group B first-round match on Saturday.
Played at the Sharjah Stadium, the match saw home team go on the attack from the start but Emirates came back late to score two goals and pocket three points.
From the start, Sharjah attackers - Yousif Saeed, Jamal Maarouf and Gelmin Rivas - dribbled past Emirates' defenders with ease and fired at will. Emirates keeper Ali Saeed Saqer was tested throughout and made some good saves.
Sharjah never had the rub of green going their way and were sloppy in phases.
In the first half, there was a powerful free-kick from Rivas, which Saqer kept out but Saeed, on the rebound, shot wide. Later, Saqer also managed to keep out a thunderous long-ranger from Omar Jumaa. In the 39th minute, Saqer parried a well-targeted header from Saeed. There were host of chances wasted by Sharjah as the strikers were unable to find target. And towards the end of first half, there were few counter-attacks from Emirates players, who were beginning to flourish.
Sharjah's misery, however, continued in the second half with a well-positioned Rivas missing the mark by a whisker.
And against the run of play, Emirates scored at one-hour mark. Debutant Abdelghani Mouaoui angled a pass from Ahmed Malallah past keeper Sharjah Ahmed Mahmoud.
Maintaining the momentum, Emirates scored again.
It was calamitous clearance by Sharjah defender Ali Al Dhanhani, who gifted the ball straight to Emirates and substitute Sebastian Saez netted to double the advantage.
Sharjah players were frustrated and three players, including Rivas, were booked for needless challenges.
The new season has started on a poor note for Sharjah but Emirates will revel in this victory.
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

By Ashwani Kumar

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