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Old warhorses stand out in goalless stalemate

Old warhorses stand out in goalless stalemate
Al Jazira's Mourad Batna (centre) tries to get past Shabab Al Ahli's Walid Abbas (left) and Leonardo in the Arabian Gulf League on Thursday night. - AGL

Dubai - Shot stoppers Al Jazira's Ali Khaseif and Shabab Al Ahli's Majed Naser pull off a string of brilliant saves

By James Jose

Published: Thu 3 Oct 2019, 9:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 3 Oct 2019, 11:29 PM

Knowing the firepower both sides possessed, it promised a gluttony of goals but two old warhorses, shot stoppers of fine repute, ensured their Arabian Gulf League fixture would end in a goal drought.
Age may be catching up with Al Jazira captain Ali Khaseif and Shabab Al Ahli's Majed Naser on the other side of 30. But the pair, formerly first choice goalkeepers for the National team, displayed amazing reflexes and showed they still had it up their sleeves.
There were plenty of action in what was an error strewn match with both clubs trying to go for broke as the match wore on. But a goal proved to be elusive at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Thursday night.
The draw meant Shabab Al Ahli remained top of the table with seven points, with this being their first stalemate. It was also Al Jazira's first drawn fixture and the Pride of Abu Dhabi have four points after one win and one loss.
Elsewhere, at the Al Maktoum Stadium, the alarm bells have started to ring for Al Nasr after The Blues suffered their second successive defeat. After going down to Ajman last week, the Oud Metha club lost 2-1 to 10-man Al Dhafra, on the night.
Mohamed Saif and Mikhail Rosheuvel scored for Al Dhafra on three and 24 minutes, while Antonio de Carvalho pulled one back for the hosts on 82 minutes.
Meanwhile, Al Jazira coach Jurgen Streppel and his opposite number Rodolfo Arruabarrena were left scratching their heads as to how to penetrate the last line of defence.
As a last throw of the dice, Streppel brought on talisman Omar Abdulrahman with 11 minutes left for the final whistle but it was perhaps a tad too late.
Though, Omar was his usual self, coming up with some tricky passes and picking out Ali Mabkhout and substitute Zayed Al Ameri, in hindsight, his infusion much earlier, could perhaps have changed the complexion of the game.

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