Al Ain retained their place at the top of the Arabian Gulf League after the end of matchweek 16, taking their tally for the season to 38 points, two ahead of Al Wahda. Meanwhile, Al Wasl are third (32) and Al Nasr are fourth with 26 points, followed by Al Jazira with 22 and Shabab Al Ahli with 20. Sharjah and Ajman are level on 19 points while Hatta climbed up to ninth with 13 points and Al Dhafra moved up to tenth with 12 points, level with Dibba and a point ahead of bottom-placed Emirates.
The six matches played over three days saw one draw, three away wins and two home victories. Matchweek 16 witnessed a low scoring rate with just ten goals scored and five teams failing to find the back of the net; Hatta, Shabab Al Ahli, Ajman, Emirates and Dibba.
The action got underway at Hamdan bin Rashid Stadium where Al Wahda secured a valuable 1-0 win over Hatta. Al Wasl failed to get a home win over Al Jazira, settling for a 1-1 draw at Zabeel Stadium.
Al Dhafra started day 2 with a first win in 13 games, beating Dibba 2-0 to finally move up from the foot of the table. Al Ain cemented their place at the top with a 3-0 win over Emirates at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, sending the Falcons to the bottom.
Ajman conceded a second consecutive defeat at Rashid bin Saeed Stadium as Al Nasr earned a 1-0 away win, securing their place at fourth. Sharjah concluded matchweek 16 with an important 1-0 away win at Rashid Stadium to move to within a point of Shabab Al Ahli at sixth.
Referees issued 22 yellow cards, including one red for Hatta’s Fernando Gabriel. Al Jazira collected the highest number of bookings in one match with five yellow cards, while Ajman’s home game against Al Nasr saw no coloured cards. No Al Ain player was booked while two penalty kicks were awarded; Sebastian Tagliabue scored against Hatta while Vander Viera earned his side a late winner from the spot against Shabab Al Ahli.
Despite drawing a blank this week, Al Wasl’s Fabio de Lima continued at the top of the scoring charts with 17 goals to his name. Al Wahda’s Tagliabue closed the gap with his 14th goal of the campaign, moving clear of Al Wasl’s Caio Canedo and Al Ain’s Marcus Berg who are both on 12 goals. Hatta’s Samuel Rosa continues to chase with ten goals.
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