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Al Jazira Beats Al Nasr and Recover the Second Place in the League

Abu Dhabi: 23 October 2014
Al Jazira bounced back with an energetic 3-2 win over Al Nasr in Round 7 of the Arabian Gulf League, courtesy of a brace from Ali Mabkhout at a Manuel Lanzini goal. Tariq Ahmed and Ivan Trichkovski were on target for Al Nasr but it wasn’t enough as they suffered their second defeat of the season to stay on 11 points. Al Jazira meanwhile move up to 2nd place in the table with 14 points.
In the 12th minute a miscalculated defensive pass from Ahmed Ibrahim to goalkeeper Ahmad Shambieh almost allowed Ali Mabkhout to get clean through on goal but Mahmoud Khamis got back to clear the danger. Seven minutes later the hosts were to take the lead; Yaser Matar’s raking cross-field pass being chested on by Mirko Vucinic for Ali Mabkhout to hit a first-time finish past Shambieh and make it 1-0 in the 19th minute. By the 37th minute Al Nasr hit back thanks to great work from Brett Holman, whose weighted pass put Tariq Ahmed through to open up his right foot and slot a finish into the bottom corner past Ali Khaseif. The equaliser boosted Al Nasr; who streamed forward again as Tariq Ahmed came close to a second goal in as many minutes, but the visitors then suffered an injury blow, losing combative midfielder Ali Hussain and bringing on Amer Mubarak in his place. Al Jazira did not want to go into the break on level pegging, though, and Ali Mabkhout made sure that they didn’t by bagging his brace in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Mirko Vucinic intercepted an Al Nasr free kick in their own half, setting Mabkhout away to slide a diagonal finish in off the far post at 2-1.
With a lead to protect again, Eric Gerets made a double substitution at half time, bringing on Burkina Faso international Jonathan Pitroipa and youngster Sultan Al Suwaidi in place of Yaser Matar and Khalid Sabil, and five minutes after the restart Al Jazira had surged further in front. This time Ali Mabkhout was the provider; played onside by Khalifa Mubarak to receive Jonathan Pitroipa’s cross, and square unselfishly to set up Manuel Lanzini for a simple finish to make it 3-1. Despite a number of corners and free kicks, Al Nasr struggled to make their chances count and in the 66th minute Renan Garcia saw a spectacular effort from distance crash back off the crossbar. With ten minutes remaining, Al Nasr substitutes Fahad Hadeed and Ivan Trichkovski combined well as the latter flashed a volley just wide, and in the 88th minute Trichkovski did find the net with an emphatic finish from the right after Ibrahima Toure’s assist, setting up a tense finale at 3-2.