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UAE Pro League
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Goals abundance in the opening round of Pro League Cup

First leg games of the UAE Pro League cup round one have come to an end after witnessing a remarkable total of 22 goals scored as none of the games ended goalless, meanwhile four players have managed to score braces in their sides' encounters.


The intensity and quality of the matches was so high that five of the 22 goals were scored from outside the penalty area, signifying the excitement of games from the onset of the tournament.


Khor Fakkan vs Al Wahda

Historically a tough team to handle for Al Wahda, Khorfakkan fought their way to an encouraging 3-2 home win.


In a match that could have been safely divided into two halves, Khorfakkan could have won by a much bigger goal difference if it wasn't for a late wake-up from the visitors.


The first hour of play belonged totally to Khorfakkan, during which the home team had cruised to a comfortable 3-0 lead.


However, the final 30 minutes saw the visiting Al Wahda bounce back with striker Joao Pedro bagging the first brace of the tournament to narrow down the final result with two away goals.


Khorfakkan had an amazing eleven shots on goal, and was it not for the alert Rashid Ali on their goal, Al Wahda could have sunk to a much bigger result.


It was the Al Wahda goalkeeper who maintained his side's chances at pulling off a comeback at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi on November 7.

Al Ain vs Emirates

Al Ain achieved a hard-fought 2-0 victory against Emirates with their two goals scored in the final 20 minutes of the match.


Cristian Guanca opened the scoring in the 73rd minute and Soufiane Rahimi – voted the ‘Best Player of the Month for September’ – got his name on the scoresheet yet again to help the former champions return home with the comfort of two away goals.


Despite enjoying a far better ball possession of 72 %, both of Al Ain’s goals were netted from only two attempts made on target and both goals were scored from outside the penalty area.


Not to be undone, Emirates fought well with their backs against the wall and had at least three attempts on the Al Ain goal.


And was it not for the experienced and alert Khalid Issa, Emirates could have travelled more comfortably with away goals before their return leg in Al Ain, on October 26.


Ittihad Kalba vs Al Orooba


Ittihad Kalba looked the most settled team while using the wings to maximum before wrapping up a dominating 4-0 win against Al Orooba.


The man of the moment for the home team was Ousmane Camara as the 22-year-old Guinean winger scored two of those goals.


Ittihad Kalba dominated the run of play as seen by their 60% ball possession.


And if at all there was one man who stood strong, it was Al Orooba's goalkeeper Talal Khamis as he blocked as many as eight shots on goal.


Robert Zulj has also delivered an outstanding performance as the Austrian managed to create eight scoring opportunities for his teammates, one of which resulted in the first goal for Ittihad Kalba.


Ajman vs Sharjah


Ajman’s Tunisian star Mohamed Firas Ben Arbi was the third player to net a brace this week to help his team settle for an entertaining 2-2 draw against visiting Sharjah.


The result seemed to be fair and that's demonstrated by the fact that the teams evenly shared ball possession.


Sharjah looked the more dangerous of the two with five shots on goal, but Ali Al Hosani stood solid for the home side on goal holding off at least three real chances.


However, much of the attention was drawn toward the 25-year-old Ben Arbi as he had a clear look at the Sharjah goal on at least six occasions, while scoring a couple of goals against the neighbors.


On the other hand, Sharjah had Luan Pereira as their stand-out man as the 21-year-old attacking midfielder from Brazil had three shots on goal, from which he scored a goal in the 47th minute.


Al Dhafra vs Al Nasr


Israel player Diaa Sabi’a was the fourth player to bag a couple of goals as Al Nasr rode away with an emphatic 3-1 win against Al Dhafra.


Ryan Mendes was provided two assists as Sabi’a headed in from close as early as the second minute to give the visitors the lead.


Mendes was in action once again while setting up Antonio Jose De Carvalho (Toze) to score in the 36th minute and double Al Nasr’s lead.


Sabi’a got his second of the night to make it 3-0 just five minutes into the second half after being set up by Toze.


Although Al Nasr was clearly the better side enjoying 60% of ball possession, it was Al Dhafra had 12 shots on goal as they were really dangerous on the counter attacks.


Al Nasr goalie Ahmed Shambih delivered brilliantly when called into action keeping his net untouched by making at least four remarkable saves, till Imoh Ezekiel managed to find the back of the net for the home team in the 57th minute.


Bani Yas vs Al Wasl


Al Wasl was the final winner of the week with a hard-fought 2-1 result against Bani Yas.


All three goals came in the first half with Saeed Khamis giving the home team the lead in the seventh minute.


But the visitors from Dubai fought back as Fabio De Lima bagged the equalizer in the 23rd minute, while Uruguay’s Michel Araujo got a goal a minute away from the half-time whistle in what proved to be the match-winner.

The score could have been much better for Al Wasl, if it had not been for Fahad Al Dhanhani who saved at least five shots on goal.

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