ee ee

Al Jazira kick off the new season with a win

News
Al Jazira kicked off their 2013/14 UAE League Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Al Shaab at the Sharjah Stadium on Tuesday evening. A second half Ricardo Oliveira penalty was enough to hand Luis Milla’s men victory, despite the absence of four key players due to international duty: Ali Khaseif, Ali Mabkhout, Khamis Esmail and Abdelaziz Barrada. The win gives Al Jazira 3 points in Group A of the UAE League Cup competition.
In an even first half, both sides created chances but failed to convert. The 26th minute saw a fine Mohamed Malalla cross from the right hit on the volley by Michael Laurent Ndri, but Al Jazira’s goalkeeper Khalid Al Sinani was able to make a comfortable save. Four minutes later an Ibrahim Abdulla shot from distance hit the post of Al Jazira’s goal and Ndri dragged the rebound horribly wide, but his blushes were spared as the offside flag was raised against him. In the 37th minute a good chance opened up at the other end as new signing Nelson Valdez combined well with Ricardo Oliveira, but the Al Jazira Club captain’s shot was cleared off the line. A minute later Al Shaab goalkeeper Mutaz Abdulla did well to rush off his line and collect at the feet of Oliveira, and right before the stroke of half time Juma Abdulla rose above everyone and almost headed home a Sultan Bargash corner, but the game remained goalless at the break.


The second half saw Sultan Bargash go close with a rasping 57th-minute drive which stung the palms of Mutaz Abdulla in the Al Shaab goal, and a minute later Ndri couldn’t direct his looping header from an Ahmad Kamel cross under the bar as both teams searched for a breakthrough. With Yaser Matar coming on for Subait Khater in a half-time substitution for Al Jazira, Marius Sumudica made two changes for Al Shaab, bringing on Salim Jasim and Fahed Mohamed for Mohammed Ahmed and Saoud Faraj in the 56th and 65th minutes respectively. Ricardo Oliveira finally put Al Jazira in front as he coolly converted a penalty in the 74th minute following a trip in the area, giving last year’s finalists a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later Milla replaced the hard-working Sultan Bargash with Salim Ali and in injury time introduced a final substitution in the form of Yaqoub Al Hosani, who came on for Abdulla Qasem. Despite some late drama in the penalty area with Khalid Al Sinani again denying Michael Laurent Ndri, Al Shaab were unable to find an equaliser and Al Jazira held on for the win.