News Center

Al Shabab 2–4 Al Jazira: Barrada and Mabkhout at the double

A severely depleted Al Jazira side came from a goal down to thrash Al Shabab 4-1 in Round 3 of the Arabian Gulf League, thanks to braces from Moroccan international Abdelaziz Barrada and UAE striker Ali Mabkhout. Despite missing the suspended Hyungmin Shin and Abdullah Mousa, and the injured Nelson Valdez, Ali Alameri, Subait Khater and Khalid Sabil, Al Jazira managed an impressive victory on the road to halt Al Shabab’s 100% start to the season.

Ali Mabkhout saw his early penalty appeal waved away in the opening minute, but it was Al Shabab who raced into a 6th minute lead as summer signing Adeilson netted for the fourth time in three League games. Abdulla Faraj whipped in a cross from the right and Al Jazira centre-back Juma Abdulla completely missed his clearance, allowing Adeilson a simple tap-in at the back post to give the hosts an early 1-0 lead. Al Jazira soon had another penalty claim waved away as a corner came in from and looked to have made contact with the arm of Al Shabab’s Uzbek midfielder Haydarov Azizbek, but the visitors’ vociferous appeals were turned away. Azizbek then showed his shooting skills at the other end of the pitch, unleashing a powerful 17th-minute drive which skewed just wide of the post. Al Jazira continued to pressure in search of an equalising goal, and a scramble ensued in the box following a Sultan Bargash corner from the left in the 34th minute, but nobody could get a decisive touch and Al Shabab were able to clear their lines. In the 41st minute Al Jazira’s pressing paid off as they got back on level terms. Abdulla Qasem’s cross from the left was chested down by captain Ricardo Oliveira straight into the path of Abdelaziz Barrada, who fired home an equaliser with his first League goal for Al Jazira. Al Shabab attempted to restore their lead before the half time break as Abdulla Faraj’s corner found Adeilson, but the Brazilian couldn’t control and his effort flew high over the bar to keep it 1-1 after 45 minutes.

Only five minutes into the second half, Al Jazira got their noses in front. The lively Abdulla Qasem hustled and harried down the right, cutting a simple pass inside for Ali Mabkhout, and the UAE national team striker showed strength and composure to skip past several defenders before sliding a cool finish into the goal, making it 2-1 in the 49th minute. Al Jazira streamed forward again five minutes later, with Ricardo Oliveira making strides and Mabkhout up in support, but the Brazilian’s touch just took the ball away from him and Al Shabab goalkeeper Ismail Rabee Juma was able to clear. The home side had the luxury of being able to bring on a quality striker in the form of Edgar, and Paqueta did just that in the 57th minute, replacing winger Nasser Masood to go all-out with two Brazilians up front in attack. Al Jazira soon made a change too, but with the opposite objective, bringing on the defense-minded Yaser Matar for winger Sultan Bargash in the 65th minute to solidify the side. Ten minutes later Abdelaziz Barrada thought he had scored an emphatic third for Al Jazira, but his effort was ruled out for offside. In the 77th minute, however, Al Jazira did make it 3-1 as Ali Mabkhout scored his second and Al Jazira’s third. A pacey counter attack was inspired by a dart down the middle by Abdulla Qasem, who then passed to Mabkhout on the right and the Emirati striker made no mistake with a fine finish through the goalkeeper’s legs. In the 80th minute Barrada released Mabkhout again and the 22-year-old almost notched up his hat-trick but his attempted chip was just over the crossbar. Al Jazira were running rampage and in the 82nd minute the visitors from Abu Dhabi made it 4-1. Another rapid break saw Barrada powering forward and passing to Oliveira, whose initial shot from a tight angle was blocked by the keeper, but Barrada followed up to bag his brace and put the victory beyond doubt. The win was marred by an 87th minute sending off for double goalscorer Ali Mabkhout, who was shown a straight red card for an overzealous tackle and will now face suspension, and there was still time for Al Jazira to concede another consolation as Hassan Ibrahim scored a tap-in in injury time to make it 4-2.