Tagliabue hat trick downs Jazira in Abu Dhabi derby
Action during the match between Jazira and Wahda in the Arabian Gulf League at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.
Abu Dhabi - Hosts Al Jazira dominated the first half in 11th round match that was postponement due to their Fifa Club WorldCup participation
Published: Tue 9 Jan 2018, 8:23 PM
Last updated: Tue 9 Jan 2018, 10:28 PM
Striker Sebastian Tagliabue scored a hat trick in Al Wahda's thumping 4-2 victory over city rivals Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf League match at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Monday.
Hosts Al Jazira dominated the first half in 11th round match that was postponement due to their Fifa Club WorldCup participation.
The hosts came out of the blocks racing as Ali Mabkhout was miraculously denied an opener inside two minutes. The Al Jazira captain chased a long pass behind Al Wahda defence and fired on the half volley from an acute angle, beating goalkeeper Mohamed Al Shamsi. The striker was unlucky as his effort ricocheted off both posts before being cleared to safety.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi thought they had finally broken the deadlock five minutes before the end of the first half when playmaker Khalfan Mubarak sent Romarinho through on goal with a pinpoint overhead pass. The Brazilian, however, the missed the target by inches.
Two minutes later, midfielder Mohamed Jamal exchanged a one-two with Mabkhout, moving inside Al Wahda's box and clear on goal. He attempted a left-footed finish but goalkeeper Mohamed Al Shamsi rescued his side. The Clarets sensed the danger and responded instantly, their own skipper Tagliabue getting on the end of a Balazs Dzsudzsak cross from the left to put his side in front against the run of play in the 43rd minute.
The pep-talk at the break by coach Laurentiu Reghecampf seemed to have worked as the visitors started the second half with a bang. Mohamed Al Menhali, played in a new right-wing role in Mourad Batna's absence, found Tagliabue with a well-weighted pass and the Argentine tucked the ball in the bottom corner for his tenth league goal of the season to double Al Wahda's lead six minutes after the restart.
Tagliabue completed the hat trick, demonstrating his poacher instinct to find space inside Al Jazira's penalty area and meet Rim Chang-woo's cross from the left to drive home Al Wahda's third of the night in the 71st minute.
Substitutes Khalid Bawazir and Mohamed Al Akberi combined to heap more misery on Henk ten Cate's men as the former crossed for Al Akberi to make it 4-0 eight minutes from time.
Al Jazira mounted a late attempt at a comeback. First, substitute Ahmed Al Hashemi sent a looping header past Al Shamsi to make it 4-1 in the 88th minute. Then, it was Romarinho's turn, and the Brazilian outmuscled his marker to sweep home Mbark Boussoufa's through pass in the dying seconds of the match to half the deficit.