Al Ain extended their lead at the top of the ADNOC Pro League's table to ten points, taking advantage of Al Wahda's loss to Sharjah in matchweek 22, which saw the least number of yellow cards this season with 13, but was not free of red cards, of which there was one.
A total of 11 goals were scored on the first day of matchweek 22 with each of the six teams in action finding the back of the net at least once, as two games ended in score, while Al Nasr won the Bur Dubai Derby.
Khorfakkan vs Al Orooba
Al Orooba ended a three-match losing run by collecting a valuable away point in a fiercely contested 1-1 draw against Khorfakkan on Thursday at Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi
Khorfakkan were closer to the win, especially in the second half when they produced five attempts on target all saved by goalkeeper Ahmed Al Hosani to deny them the three points.
Defenders got both goals of the night and impressed throughout, with Khorfakkan’s Abdalla El Refaey scoring a goal, making four interceptions, and producing four blocks, in addition to creating three chances, while Al Orooba's Gianluca Muniz also added three blocks and four interceptions to his equaliser from the spot.
Emirates - Bani Yas
Bani Yas and Emirates played out a 2-2 draw at Emirates Club Stadium on Thursday.
The hosts were more clinical with half of their eight shots being on target, while Bani Yas took the game to their opponents but could only aim goalward four attempts on target out of 19.
Emirates created five goal-scoring chances, compared to 14 for the visitors.
Nicolas Gimenez was on top of his game, scoring a goal and providing the assist for the second as well as creating five more chances, while Abdulla Musa and Faris Khalil made four blocks each.
Al Nasr - Al Wasl
Al Nasr came from behind to defeat Al Wasl 3-2 in the Bur Dubai Derby and overtake them in the ADNOC Pro League table on Thursday.
Al Nasr dominated the first half, while Al Wasl started the second half as a completely different team, dictating the game and launching six shots on target, twice as many as their opponents managed all game.
However, it was the hosts’ proficiency in front of goal that made the difference as they scored each of their three efforts on target.
Diaa Saba was his side's best performer, creating six goal-scoring chances, half of them were converted into goals by his teammates, and Abdulla Abbas excelled in intercepting the ball, whereas Al Wasl's Aleksandar Vasiljevic produced four interceptions.
The second day of matchweek 22 saw six goals, one home win and one away win, with Al Jazira having the lion's share of the goals with three.
Al Jazira - Ajman
A goal from Abdoulay Diaby and a brace from Ali Mabkhout handed Al Jazira a 3-0 win over Ajman at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Friday.
Al Jazira enjoyed the bulk of possession in the first half with 73% and translated their dominance into two goals from four efforts on target, while Ajman had just one attempt during the first half.
The visitors became more dangerous in the second 45 minutes, launching five attempts, three of which were within the frame of the goal, and the other two hit the woodwork.
Mabkhout ran the show with a brace and an assist.
Al Wahda - Sharjah
Ben Malango's brace dented Al Wahda’s title charge as Sharjah secured a 2-1 win at Al Nahyan Stadium on Friday.
Despite Al Wahda's superiority in terms of possession, coach Gregory Dufrennes’ men struggled in attack, creating just five chances, one of which was turned into the back of the net, failing to take a single shot on target after their 23rd-minute goal.
Sharjah, meanwhile, created nine goal-scoring chances and netted their two goals from two set-pieces; a corner and an indirect free-kick.
Facing his former team, Sharjah midfielder Mohammad Abdulbasit excelled in the midfield battle, producing four interceptions, while right-back Khaled Al Dhanhani won 11 duels out of 13.
The third and last day of matcweek 22 saw four goals scored, with Al Ain edging closer to the ADNOC Pro League title thanks to a solitary goal.
Al Dhafra – Al Ain
Caio Canedo’s goal was the difference at Hamdan bin Zayed Stadium as Al Ain came away with a 1-0 victory against Al Dhafra on Saturday.
The ADNOC Pro League leaders had two third of possession, but they had just two shots on target to show for it, one in each half, while Al Dhafra had to wait till the second half to launch their three attempts on target.
Canedo was his side's best performer, scoring the only goal of the match, and winning 15 duels out of 25, while his teammate Ahmed Barman completed 103 of his 107 attempted passes, a passing accuracy of 96%.
Shabab Al Ahli – Ittihad Kalba
Matchweek 22 concluded with Shabab Al Ahli securing their first win since matchweek 16.
Both teams shared the possession, and Ittihad Kalba were more dangerous as goalkeeper Hassan Hamza brilliantly denied nine shots to ensure the three points for the Dubai side.