AGLEAGUE Matchweek 19 roundup
The Arabian Gulf League table saw a lot of changes, with teams moving up and others dropping, after the conclusion of matchweek 19.
Following Al Ain’s defeat, Shabab Al Ahli jumped to second place. Meanwhile, Ban Yas swapped places with Al Wahda, while Al Dhafra and Ajman moved up and Al Wasl dropped.
Al Ain played against Al Jazira in match of the week in a game that saw the Pride of Abu Dhabi collect a big 5-1 win over the Boss.
Despite the victory, Al Jazira remained in fourth place on 37 points. Al Ain dropped to third place, tied on 38 points with Shabab Al Ahli who beat Dibba 3-1.
Sharjah could have widened the gap with Al Ain to 11 points, but they were held to a 0-0 draw with Ajman. They now have 47 points and need 13 more points from their seven remaining games to seal the title. This is the second time this season that the Oranges draw with the King as their encounter in the first half of the season ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Bani Yas and Al Wahda sit fifth and sixth and are hoping to end the league in the top three to secure a spot in next season’s AFC Asian Champions League.
The Sky Blues earned a tough 3-2 win over Emirates Club to move to fifth place on 33 points. They are two points above Al Wahda who drew 1-1 with Al Dhafra.
The gap widened between the top-of-the-table teams and their counterparts in the middle of the table.
Al Wasl suffered a 4-2 defeat to Al Nasr to drop to ninth place on 23 points. Al Dhafra drew with Al Wahda and Ajman drew with Sharjah to sit seventh and eighth, respectively, tied on 24 points.
Ittihad Kalba remained 10th on 21 points after playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Fujarah. They are one point above Al Nasr who beat Al Wasl to remain 11th on 20 points.
After winning their second game of the season against Al Nasr last week, Dibba lost against to Shabab Al Ahli this week to remain at the bottom on eight points. This marked the Sailors’ 15th defeat of the season.
Despite fighting for a draw against Bani Yas, Emirates Club conceded another defeat to remain 13th on 12 points.
Fujairah ended their seven-match losing streak as they drew with Kalba 3-3. They still sit 12th on 14 points.
A total of 29 goals were scored in matchweek 19 with an average of 4.1 goal per game.
A total of six goals were scored in each of Al Jazira and Al Ain encounter (5-1), Al Nasr and Wasl clash (4-2), and Fujairah and Kalba match (3-3).
Kalba suffered from own goals as Yaqoub Al Bloushi and Hamad Al Hammadi scored in their own net against Fujairah. This was the first time this season that two players score own goals in own game.
Ali Mabkhout topped the goal-scoring charts after netting a double against Al Ain. He now has 19 goals to his name, two above Sebastián Tagliabué who failed to score against Al Dhafra.
Al Nasr’s Alvaro Negredo impressed in matchweek 19. Despite missing a penalty in the first half against Al Wasl, he netted a hat-trick to raise his tally to 15 goals.