Al Ahli hit Dubai for six in nine-goal thriller
Al Ahli were rampant in front of goal as they put six past hapless home side Dubai in Round 19 of the Etisalat Pro League on Friday night. The visitors showed their attacking prowess, even without the suspended Ismael Al Hammadi and Ahmed Khalil, as Grafite netted a hat-trick, Jimenez added a brace and Ricardo Quaresma also got on the scoresheet. The win has seen Al Ahli now jump up into 3rd place on 36 points, whilst Dubai remain 10th on a tally of 19 at the close of the round.
Dubai were completely outplayed by their counterparts, with Quaresma and Grafite proving to be constant threats, but it wasn’t until the 25th minute that Luiz Jimenez managed to break the deadlock, striking home a low cross from Grafite to put Al Ahli 1-0 up. The Al Ahli players could sense more potential for goals, and five minutes later Abdulaziz Sanqoor unleashed a piledriver of a volley, but Dubai goalkeeper Jamal Abdullah did well to save. Abdulaziz Haikal also attempted a strike from distance, but saw his effort whistle just past the post. Al Ahli’s advantage was doubled as Grafite blasted Quaresma’s clever chip into the roof of the net, and Grafite got his second of the night less than a minute later, heading home a cross from Hussain to put Al Ahli 3-0 up at the half-time break.
Hussain was again instrumental in setting up the fourth and fifth goals for Al Ahli, as Jimenez got his brace in the 65th minute from converting the rebound from Hussain’s shot. Al Ahli then went 5-0 up a minute later he made a fine solo run and finished it with a cross for the Portuguese Quaresma to turn into the net, opening his scoring account in the UAE. Mohamed Ibrahim then proceeded to pull a goal back for Dubai in the 74th minute, but one minute later Al Ahli completed their rout as Grafite netted his hat-trick and The Knights’ sixth of the night. Substitute Yousef Hassan pulled the scoreline back to 6-2 in the 85th minute, and Richard Porta added a third for the home side with a stunning 25-yard strike, but it was too little too late for Rene Marsiglia’s side as Al Ahli took home all three points with a 6-3 victory.
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