The opening matchweek of the 2021-22 ADNOC Pro League season had no shortage of excitement. Besides witnessing the fans return to the stands, the season opener saw 16 goals with no match ending in a goalless draw.
Emirates - Shabab Al Ahli
Shabab Al Ahli extended their undefeated record to 17 matches, as they collected the three points thanks to Majed Hassan's strike from outside the box.
Shabab Al Ahli controlled possession and had 6 shots on target but they were mostly denied by keeper Ali Saqr.
Shabab Al Ahli also remain undefeated in the last 10 league games with an overall scoreline of 27-3.
Al Wahda - Al Orooba
Al Wahda cruised to a 4-0 win over newly-promoted Al Wahda, thanks to a double from each of Joao Pedro and Omar Khrbin. Al Wahda produced 34 crosses and capitalized on three crosses to net three headers. They are the first team to score three headers in the league since Al Ain against Fujairah in 2019.
Al Wahda haven't lost any of their last 8 league openers (7 wins - 1 draw), and they kept clean sheets in 6 out of their last 7 opening matches.
Ajman - Al Nasr
Ajman defeated Al Nasr 3-0 in the opening game, as they needed only 118 seconds to score the opening goal.
Al Nasr controlled possession and had five shots that were saved by Ali Al Hosani. Meanwhile, Ajman netted three goals off 4 shots.
Ajman relied on counterattacks, while Al Nasr weren't clinical in front of goal, as Ajman picked their second win in the league's opening matchweek, both coming against Al Nasr (2018-19 and 2021-22).
Khorfakkan - Al Ain
Al Ain kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 win over Khorfakkan, thanks to a brace from Laba Kodjo and a goal from former Khorfakkan defender Kouame Autonne.
Al Ain maintained their positive record against Khorfakkan in the league, as they now have four wins and a draw from five meetings. Kodjo now scored more goals against Khorfakkan (equaled with Fujairah) than any other team in the league.
Al Jazira - Al Dhafra
Defending champions Al Jazira cruised to a 2-0 win over Al Dhafra, courtesy of Abdullah Ramadan and Joao Victor.
Al Jazira controlled possession and had 6 shots, while Al Dhafra had a total of three shots and all were off target.
Substitute Bruno was sent off for the second time in the league - the first was against Shabab Al Ahli in the 2019-20 season.
Sharjah - Ittihad Kalba
It was a tightly-contested game, as Sharjah controlled possession but a defensive mistake from Ittihad Kalba cost them three points.
Sharjah had 10 shots, while Ittihad Kalba had nine, and each had three shots on target.
Sharjah kicked off their third season in a row with a win, while Ittihad Kalba lost their opening match for the third consecutive season.
Bani Yas - Al Wasl
Al Wasl earned a late win against Bani Yas who had one shot only on target throughout the 90 minutes.
Al Wasl looked more dangerous after Fabio Lima came on as a substitute in the second half. Bani Yas keeper Fahad Al Dhanhani pulled off a number of fine saves before conceding Ramiro's header from inside the box.