Three-way race at the top in matchweek 3
Al Wahda, Sharjah and Al Ain continued to set the pace in the Arabian Gulf League after each of the three side won their third consecutive game this weekend.
Matchweek 3 of the competition saw Sharjah come from behind to snatch a 2-1 away win over Shabab Al Ahli to record their best ever start to an Arabian Gulf League season.
Al Ain added to Al Nasr’s woes, handing the Blues their third straight defeat as Caio Fernandes, Hussein El Shahat and Marcus Berg netted in the Boss’ 3-0 win at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.
Meanwhile, Al Wahda made lightwork of ten-man Al Wasl in match of the week, as Fabio de Lima saw red and Sebastian Tagliabue bagged a brace to lead the Clarets to a 4-1 victory.
Slipping off the pace setters were Al Jazira, having won their first two fixtures, the Pride of Abu Dhabi were held to a 2-2 draw by Bani Yas to take their tally to seven points. The draw meant the Sky Blues are unbeaten in three, but also winless as they collect their third point of the campaign.
At the other end of the table, another three-way battle takes place with Al Dhafra, Dibba and Al Nasr all unable to get off the mark after three games.
Two late Emirates’ goals denied Dibba their first point as they fell to a 3-2 defeat in Ras Al Khaima, while Ittihad Kalba’s renaissance under new coach Fabio Viviani drowned Al Dhafra 2-0, and Al Nasr continued their frustrating start of the campaign as marquee signing Alvaro Negredo failed to convert a penalty on his debut.
In mid-table, Fujairah climbed above Ajman after substitute Ibrahim Khameis netted twice to hand the newly promoted Wolves earned their first win in the competition.
A total of 25 goals were scored in matchweek 3, a drop from the highs of 31 and 30 in the first two matchweeks respectively, and with 21 fixtures played, we are yet to see a goalless draw.
The results put Al Wahda top of the table courtesy of their attack, the free-scoring Clarets bagged 14 goals in three matches, two more than Sharjah and four ahead of their city rivals Al Jazira. In contrast, Al Dhafra have so far mustered a single goal in three.
Al Ain lead defensively, having conceded just twice, while each of Al Wahda, Bani Yas and Sharjah conceded four. Conversely, Dibba and Al Nasr have shipped ten each as the leakiest defences in the competition.
The scoring race heated up with Ali Mabkhout and Sebastian Tagliabue joining Welliton Soares at the top of the charts with five goals each after the Al Wahda hitman put two past Al Wasl and Al Jazira’s number 7 found the net against Bani Yas, while Sharjah’s Brazilian blanked this weekend having struck four in his previous outing against Al Nasr.