The Boss blank Shaab in Arabian Gulf League

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The Boss blank Shaab in Arabian Gulf League
Al Ain's Omar Abdulrahman dribbles past a Dibba player during their Arabian Gulf League match on Sunday.

Dubai - Defending champions Al Ain keep fight alive; Fujairah shock hosts Al Jazira

By James Jose / Moni Mathews

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Published: Sun 24 Apr 2016, 11:15 PM

Last updated: Mon 25 Apr 2016, 12:39 AM

Defending champions Al Ain made sure they wouldn't go down without a fight in the title race by blanking already relegated Al Shaab in the Arabian Gulf League at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Sunday night.
'The Boss,' who fell six points adrift after going down to leaders Al Ahli last week, narrowed that gap to three with a 3-0 win over Al 10-man Shaab.
Douglas fired a brace on 62 and 84 minutes, while Sultan Saif scored an own goal on 78 minutes.
Their 18th win and 10th at their fortress gave Zlatko Dalic's men 56 points, while Al Shaab suffered their 20th loss and seventh on the road.
Al Ain's final two League fixtures of the season are against Fujairah away on Thursday night after which they are at home to Emirates on May 8. Al Shaab had done well to hold the Garden City club goalless in the first half but things got worse for them just before the hour.
They were a man down from 55 minutes after Mansour Alblooshi was given marching orders by referee Khalid Bu Hasan following a second booking.
And Al Ain duly took advantage of that by breaking the deadlock on 62 minutes through Douglas. They were then gifted a goal after Sultan Saif slotted it into his own net on 78 minutes. Douglas then wrapped it up with the third, six minutes from time.
Meanwhile, visitors and underdogs Fujairah shocked ninth placed hosts Al Jazira 3-1 at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.
After gaining an early lead thanks to a great effort by star player Thiago Neves, Jazira enjoyed territorial advantage till the 43rd minute when Fujairah's Patrick Eze squared matters with a fine shot while on the run, and seconds before the half time period was signalled, Hassan Matouk gave Fujairah a 2-1 lead. Eze completed added one more for a grand brace in the 90th minute before three more minutes of added time was announced by the time keeper and side official.
Khalfan Mubarak's penalty kick for Jazira in the 50th minute came off the crossbar, denying the home side of drawing parity. Jazira playing without their danger man Ali Mabkhout and despite their loss to Pakhtakor during the week, looked in fine touch with a neat first half performance that must have warmed the hearts of the home fans and coach Henk Ten Cate. Jazira played with 10 men after Abdulla Moosa was sent off for unfair tackling from the back in the 72nd minute.
Al Jazira goalkeeper Khalid Senaani brought off a couple of timely saves to keep the vistors from increasing their tally midway through the second half.
Jazira stay in ninth spot while this victory while three points seemed to have done little for Fujairah who are still in the relegation zone of the 14-team championship.
"True, we looked solid in the first half and also in the second half but the determination of a side badly wanting to come out of relegation, went against the run of play for us tonight (Sunday)," Cate told media.
With the league in its homestretch, Jazira will desperately aim for the maximum six instead of the nine points they were after, before the crucial Sunday fixture.

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