Abu Dhabi: Sharjah and Al Dhafra continued to lead the two groups in the League Cup competition, after beating Bani Yas 2-0 and Al Shabab 5-0 respectively on Wednesday to move a step closer to the semi-finals.
Sharjah continued their brilliant performances and results since returning to the top professional competitions at the start of this season under Brazilian coach, Paulo Bonamigo.
In addition to being joint second in the Arabian Gulf League, they are now leading Group A with 10 points from four matches after beating Bani Yas with two goals scored by Ze Carlos in the 13th minute and Yousuf Saeed one minute before the break.
In Group B, Al Dhafra neared their first appearance in the semis after trouncing Al Shabab 5-0 to secure their 12th point from five matches, four points more than Ajman in second place.
Abdulla Abdul Gadir started the rout in the 15th minute and six minutes later, the visiting skipper, Adil Abdulla, deflected a free-kick from Saif Mohammad while Makethe Diop added the third in the 27th minute.
In the second half, Bandar Al Ahbabi scored with a beautiful lob in the 49th minute and Emmanuel Clottey completed the thrashing in the 53rd from a free-kick.
“This was our worst match this season and I don’t really know the reasons for this poor performance,” Al Shabab coach Marcos Paqueta said after the match.
In Dubai, Al Ahli boosted their hopes of a semi-final place after beating Ajman 2-1 in a hard-fought encounter. The home team took the lead when Ciel’s shot was deflected into the net by visiting defender Tialal Mubarak in the 46th minute. Al Ahli’s Brazilian striker Grafite missed a penalty in the 76th minute thanks to a fantastic save from Ali Rabie, and Ajman defender Waleed Ahmad equalised in the 82nd minute.
However, Yousuf Al Sayed helped his side have the last laugh when he headed home the winner for Al Ahli in the 92nd minute. As a result, Al Ahli picked up their seventh point from four matches.
Al Dhafra 5 Al Shabab 0
Al Ahli 2 Ajman 1
Sharjah 2 Bani Yas 0