A brace for star striker Sebastian Tagliabue saw Al Wahda return to winning ways with a 2-0 Arabian Gulf League victory at Al Nasr on Saturday.
Their Excellencies had dropped from the top of the table after successive losses to Al Ain – which was their first in 20 matches – and champions Al Ahli. Coach Jose Peseiro had urged his side to focus on attaining three points during their trip to Dubai, and his desire was rewarded.
A beautiful deep ball from full-back Adel Abdulla played in the lethal ‘Tigali’ for his opener deep into first-half injury-time, an immaculate first touch and poked finish over goalkeeper Ahmad Shambieh following.
The night was not without worry for Wahda, a lofted header on the hour-mark from home striker Ibrahima Toure being ruled out by a narrow offside call.
Urged on by Peseiro, the Abu Dhabi-outfit continued to push for a second to kill the game and it duly came with less than 10 minutes remaining. Winger Mohamed Al Shehhi drove at the defence to create space for the Argentine to fire in low and bring his AGL tally to eight.
Wahda are now secured in third spot ahead of the break for January’s Asian Cup, while a pair of defeats for Nasr has killed the momentum of their push for a top-three finish.
Meanwhile, Ivan Hasek had Boubacar Sanogo to thank for his first victory as Fujairah coach after the striker struck the only goal to see off relegation rivals Ajman.
The Ivorian pounced in the 22nd minute at Fujairah Stadium to give Hasek all three points in just his second match in charge following the dismissal of Abdulwahab Abdulqadir.
The result – their eighth reversal in 13 matches – sees the Orange Brigade remain second from bottom heading into the top-flight hiatus, increasing the pressure on boss Fetthi Jebel.
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