The top three positions were unchanged after the conclusion of matchweek 9 of the Arabian Gulf League as Sharjah, Al Jazira and Al Nasr grabbed wins.
Sharjah clinched a late win 2-1 over Al Wasl thanks to Welliton Soares double to maintain their position on top of standings with 23 points. The King returned to winning ways after falling to two consecutive draws with Khorfakkan and Shabab Al Ahli. The win helped Sharjah maintain the three-point gap with second-placed Al Jazira, who cruised to a 2-0 win over Al Wahda, marking their fourth league win in a row.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi are tied on 20 points with Al Nasr who are trailing on goal difference. The Blues played out a thrilling 3-2 win against Fujairah, as the opponents failed to pull off a late comeback.
In-form Ittihad Kalba sit in fourth place, four points behind Al Jazira and Al Nasr after grabbing a late 2-1 win over Khorfakkan, thanks to Davide Mariani’s 86th-minute winner. The Tigers moved to the top-four after collecting 13 points off their past four matches.
Kalba are tied on 16 points with fifth-placed Bani Yas, who are trailing on goal difference. Three second half goals over Hatta handed the Sky Blues their fifth win of the season and their second in a row.
Al Ain failed to recover from their 4-1 defeat to Bani Yas and couldn’t avenge their recent 1-0 defeat to Ajman in the UAE President’s Cup round of 16, as they played out a 0-0 draw with the Oranges to sit sixth on 15 points. They are just one point above seventh-placed Shabab Al Ahli, who played a goalless draw as well with Al Dhafra to share the spoils for the fifth time this the season.
Al Wahda also have 14 points but sit eighth on goal difference. They are two points above Al Wasl and Al Dhafra, who sit ninth and 10th, respectively. A seven-point gap separates Al Dhafra from Khorfakkan who sit in 11th place on five points. Fujairah have four points, while Ajman have three and sit 12th and 13th, respectively. Hatta continue to linger at the bottom of the table with one point only.
Matchweek 9 in Numbers
Hatta and Ajman are the only two teams who are yet to grab a win this season. Hatta also holds the worst defensive record in the league after conceding 25 goals in nine games. Hatta’s offensive performance is no better, as they are tied with Ajman on four goals each. On the other hand, Sharjah and Bani Yas have the best offensive performance so far after scoring 20 goals each.
Despite not scoring in matchweek 9, Shabab Al Ahli’s Igor Jesus remained on top of the goalscoring charts with nine goals, one above each of Sharjah’s Welliton Soares and Igor Coronado and Bani Yas’ Joao Pedro.
Two teams got away from home wins, namely Kalba and Bani Yas, while Al Nasr, Sharjah and Al Jazira won at home. As two games ended in goalless draws, only 16 goals were scored in matchweek 9 with an average of a 2.2 goals per game.