Abu Dhabi: Al Shabab remained second after beating Al Dhafra 1-0 and Ajman took a giant sept towards safety after seeing off Al Shaab 2-1 on Friday in the 20th week of the Arabian Gulf League.
Al Shabab played with ten men for most of the match after referee Ammar Al Junaibi sent off defender Mahmoud Qasim in the 42nd minute for a deliberate dangerous tackle,
However, they proved too strong for Al Dhafra, who did not capitalise on their numerical superiority and continued to play with one single striker, Makhete Diop.
Following a dull first half in which play was limited to midfield skirmishes, Al Shabab came back strongly in the second 45 minutes pressed for a goal.
Their efforts were rewarded in the 56th minute when Dawood Ali crossed from the right flank to Edgar Da Silva, whose first-time shot found the bottom of the net.
Diop had two headers off target from crosses from Saif Mohammad, in the 58th minute, and Abdul Salam Juma in the 79th, while Adeilson De Mello’s bicycle kick was saved by Abdulla Sultan in the 66th minute.
Al Shabab increased their tally to 42 points, while Al Dhafra remain on 29.
In Ajman, the city team took a giant step towards safety after beating Al Shaab 2-1 to go seven points clear of the relegation zone, leaving their opponents deep in trouble with only 11 points one place above the bottom of the standings.
Mohammad Ahmad put Ajman into the lead in the fourth minute and Bakari Kone added the second in the 32nd, while Ahmad Juma scored Al Shaab’s consolation goal in the 36th minute.
On Saturday, Al Wasl host Dubai at 5.45pm and Al Jazira meet Al Wahda in the Abu Dhabi derby at 8.30pm.