Arabian Gulf League matchweek 3 Roundup
The Arabian Gulf League is gaining steam week-in week-out and matchweek 3 saw an increase in goals scored, penalty kicks and coloured cards, not to mention shocking results. No draws were recorded as the six games played over the weekend saw two away wins and four home victories.
Emirates got the action underway with a 4-0 thumping of Hatta. A result that lifted The Falcons to sixth in the table with four points while affirming Hatta's place at the foot of the table with no points so far. Al Wahda cemented their place at the top of the table with a 3-1 victory over Al Dhafra to extend their winning run to three games. The Western Knights drop to eighth with four points. The pick of the games at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium saw Al Ain overcome rivals Shabab Al Ahli Dubai 2-1 to move into third place with seven points, leaving Shabab Al Ahli a point behind.
Newcomers Ajman conceded late to lose again as Dibba got back-to-back wins taking them up to fifth in the table with six points leaving The Oranges second-bottom with no points. Al Wasl came away with the three points from Sharjah to occupy second place; the same spot they held at the end of last season. Sharjah were left at tenth with one point.
Al Nasr served a major upset with a 4-2 victory over reigning champions Al Jazira in Abu Dhabi. The Pride of Abu Dhabi drop to ninth place with three points while Al Nasr overtake them with four points in seventh place.
Throughout, 22 goals were scored; five more than the previous matchweek. Senegalese striker Makhete Diop leads the goalscoring charts with five goals, having scored in each of his side's league games so far. The chasing pack with four goals each include Al Dhafra's Ailton Almeida, Al Wasl's Fabio de Lima and Emirates' Sebastian Saez who scored the only hat-trick of matchweek 3 against Hatta.
The 29 yellow cards brandished by referees in matchweek 3 are a 38% increase on the previous matchweek. There were also double the red cards with four players sent-off. The classic clash between Al Ain and Shabab Al Ahli saw the highest number of cards with seven yellow cards and two reds. At Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium there were five bookings while a player from each side was sent off. Ajman were the only side not to receive any cards this weekend.
Five penalty kicks were awarded in matchweek 3, that is two more than the previous matchweek. Dibba forward Ciel scored twice from the spot against Ajman while Sharjah's new signing Vander Viera scored one against Al Wasl. Sebastian Saez converted his penalty against Hatta while Al Wahda winger Balazs Dzsuzsak had the misfortune of being the only player to miss a penalty in this round. Luckily for the Hungarian, teammate Mourad Batna scored from the ricochet off the post to save his blushes.