Dubai: Al Shabab picked up full points, while Dibba and Emirates Club split points in early action of the third round of the Arabian Gulf League (AGL) on Friday.
Dutch player Ruud Boijmans scored a rare goal after Tomas De Vincenti from Argentina had opened the account to help Al Shabab to a comfortable 2-0 win against Bani Yas, while Emirates Club snatched an away point with a goalless draw at Dibba.
The win takes Al Shabab straight to the top of the 14-team table with a maximum nine points, while Al Ahli and Al Ain — whose third round meeting was shifted to December by the Pro League Committee (PLC) — remain in second and third place respectively.
The goalless draw in Dibba saw the home team remain in tenth position, while Emirates picked up their first point of the season to stay one position above cellar-placed Al Dhafra.
The home team controlled the rhythm of the game well, and found the first goal in the 15th minute when the talented Vincenti received from Henrique Luvannor to slot home past Ahmad Juma. Al Shabab doubled their lead 15 minutes later when Luvannor became provider second time — and in this instance Boijmans poked through the legs of the Bani Yas goalkeeper.
In the second-half, the visitors looked sharper, especially after the introduction of their new signing Daniel Hernandez who is on a one-year loan from Colombia’s Manizales el Once Caldas. But Al Shabab managed to defend their lead well, and should have in fact added at least another two goals.
After starting the second-half at a blistering pace, Luvannor nearly turned provider a third time in the 48th minute, but substitute Dawood Ali - who came in for the injured Rashid Hassan — missed connecting with the inch-perfect ball across the face of the Bani Yas goal.
Dawood Ali came close a second time in the 74th minute when he ran to meet a ball from Luvannor but saw his goalward shot tipped out for an abortive corner by former teammate Ahmad Juma in the Bani Yas goal. With shoulders dropping in the later part of the second-half, the home side nearly got a third goal in the 83rd minute — when Vincenti’s long drive skipped off the post.