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Al Jazira do it again

James Jose / 24 April 2012

An experienced Al Jazira defeated Bani Yas to retain the prestigious President’s Cup at a packed Zayed Sports City on Monday night.

Watched by a crowd of 38,720, a brilliant Al Jazira won 3-1.

Jubliant Al Jazira players and fans celebrating the President’s Cup victory over Bani Yas in Abu Dhabi on Monday. — KT photos Nezar Balout

Al Jazira scored through Australian defender and captain Lucas Neill, Brazilian Ricardo Oliveira and substitute Ahmed Al Mubarak in the sixth, 71st and 90th minutes respectively, while substitute Nawaf Mubarak scored for Bani Yas.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister and Interior and Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, watched the game.

It was Bani Yas who made the initial foray in the very first minute of the game but their Spanish forward Francisco Yeste shot wide.

But it was Al Jazira who went ahead in the sixth minute after a corner. Argentine playmaker Matias Delgado floated in a neat corner, which took a deflection and fell in Subait Khater’s path. Khater crossed it to Lucas Neill and the Australian defender fired it home.

Bani Yas pressed hard for the equaliser with their Senegalese forward coming up with a couple of chances. Senghor’s header went wide of the post after a cross from the left in the 13th minute. Later, in the 20th minute, Senghor chested down a ball from the middle even as Jazira defender Abdulla Mousa failed to defend it. Senghor fired his shot from the right but it was punched away by Khaseif for a corner.

In the 26th minute, Fawaz Awana grounder from the tip of the box was collected safely by Khaseif.

Then, Al Jazira almost came close to doubling the lead in the 29th minute after a fine piece of work by Ricardo Oliveira. The Brazilian forward burst down the left on a counter and crossed it to captain Ibrahim Diaky on the right even as it whizzed past the charging Delgado in the middle. Diaky crossed from the right but Bare’s header was cleared by Bani Yas goalkeeper Mohamed Khalef.

Bani Yas had an opportunity to draw level with five minutes left in the half but a diving Khaseif pulled off a brilliant save to keep out Yeste’s freekick. This was after Abdulla Mousa was harshly handed a yellow card by referee Mohamed Abdulla Hassan for a foul on Ahmed Ali, though television replays showed Ali tripped on Mousa as he tried to make contact with the ball. 

Substitute Nawaf Mubarak breathed life back to Bani Yas’ pursuit with a brilliant equaliser, two minutes on restart. Nawaf, who came on for Haboush Saleh Habou, fired in a swerving left-footer which had no answer from Khaseif, who just stood still. Then, Yeste saw his left-footer from the tip of the box go wide of the post.

It seemed to be heading into extra-time with less than 20 minutes left but Oliveira fired home the winner for Al Jazira. Off a freekick after Fawaz Awana fouled Delgado, Oliveira’s low shot went through the wall and though  goalkeeper Mohamed Khalef dived and got a hand to it, it rolled into the net

And in the final minute of regulation time with six minutes of added time to come, Al Jazira put it to bed with substitute Ahmed Ali Mubarak scoring the third. Mubarak, who had come on for Bare, did a neat solo down the left before teeing it into goal.


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