Abu Dhabi: Bani Yas returned to winning ways as they beat Emirates 2-1 in the 20th week of the Arabian Gulf League season on Sunday.
The victory was the first for Bani Yas in four weeks and also the first under their new Iraqi coach Adnan Hamad, who fielded a line-up of young players and left out three of the team’s four foreigners. Only Omani defender Abdul Salam Amer joined a team of local players, whom the club are preparing for next season after losing hope of a top place in this campaign.
Salem Saeed, one of the youngsters, scored the opening goal for Bani Yas in the 12th minute. He led a fast counter-attack and passed to the left flank for Jasim Jawhar, whose fierce shot was blocked by goalkeeper Abdullah Moussa only for Saeed to follow up with a well-judged header.
Referee Mohammad Abdul Karim awarded Emirates a controversial 26th-minute penalty for a foul on Brazilian striker Wanderley Sousa, although there did not seem to be any contact with Amer Abdul Rahman. German Herrera converted from the spot for the equaliser.
However, Nawaf Mubarak grabbed what proved to be the winner in the 56th minute with a curling free-kick from 25 metres.
Bani Yas increased their tally to 27 points, while Emirates dropped one place to 12th with 17 points, only six points above the relegation zone.