The title race, the third-place chase and the relegation battle all heated up after the conclusion of matchweek 24 of the Arabian Gulf League.
For weeks, Sharjah looked very close to securing the title, as they widened the gap with their rivals to 11 points. However, the King’s poor performances in the past few matchweeks saw the gap with second-placed Shabab Al Ahli decrease to three points only.
The battle for third place is also heating up as Al Jazira, Al Ain and Al Wahda fight for a spot in the AFC Asian Champions League.
On the other end of the table, Fujairah refused to give up as they earned a valuable win that could play an important role in their fight to avoid relegation.
Sharjah drop more points
The King fell to their first defeat of the season against Al Wasl after they lost 3-2 away from home. Sharjah’s disappointing performances continued as they collected seven points only in their past six games to remain frozen on 53 points, three above Shabab Al Ahli.
The league leaders need to collect three points from their two remaining games against Al Wanda and Emirates Club to officially seal the title.
Shabab Al Ahli continued to chase Sharjah, refusing to give up on their title chances. They earned a tough 3-1 win over Al Nasr to raise their tally to 50 points.
The battle for third place heated up as Al Jazira returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Emirates Club to remain third on 44 points.
Al Ain ended their five-game winless streak and earned a valuable 2-0 win over rock-bottom Dibba.
Meanwhile, Al Wahda overcame Ajman 3-1, thanks to Sebastian Tagliabue’s hat-trick. The Boss and the Clarets are now tied on 43 points, in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Bani Yas defeated Ittihad Kalba 3-2 but remained in sixth place, four points below Al Ain and Al Wahda.
After beating Sharjah, Al Wasl jumped to seventh place on 33 points. Ajman dropped to eighth on 31 points, one above ninth-placed Al Nasr. Al Dhafra are currently 10th on 28 points, four points above 11th-placed Kalba.
Fujairah return to winning ways
Dibba edged closer to relegation following their defeat to Al Ain. They sit at the bottom of the standings on 13 points, five behind Emirates Club and Fujairah.
Meanwhile, Fujairah ended their 16-game winless run as they collected an impressive 5-1 win over Al Dhafra. They are now tied on 18 points with Emirates, who lost 3-0 to Al Jazira.
A total of 29 goals were scored in matchweek 24 with an average of 4.1 goals per match. Out of the 14 teams, only Al Jazira and Al Ain managed to keep clean sheets.
Three players netted hat-tricks; Fujairah’s Mohamed Benyattou scored against Al Dhafra, Bani Yas’ Pedro Conde scored against Kalba and Al Wahda’s Sebastian Tagliabue netted against Ajman.