Arabian Gulf League Asamoah Gyan's Al Ahli miss out on league title to Al Jazira

The Abu Dhabi club, undoubtedly the best side this term, wrapped it up in style by swamping Hatta 5-0 at the Hatta Stadium on Saturday night.

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Al Jazira kept their tryst with destiny to confirm their status as the new Arabian Gulf League champions, with two games to spare.

The Abu Dhabi club, undoubtedly the best side this term, wrapped it up in style by swamping Hatta 5-0 at the Hatta Stadium on Saturday night.

And with their closest challengers Al Ahli held to a 2-2 stalemate by Al Sharjah at the Rashid Stadium, Al Jazira, nicknamed the 'Pride of Abu Dhabi,' penned the finishing touches to only their second League title in the UAE top flight.

Al Jazira's maiden title had come in the 2010-11 season under Brazilian coach Abel Braga. Since then, they had finished fourth, third, third, second and a disappointing seventh last season.

It has been an amazing turnaround by the side under Dutch coach Henk ten Cate, who perhaps sparked the revival with the President's Cup title at the end of last season.

play Al Jazira routed Hatta 5-0 at the Hatta Stadium on Saturday night.

 

Al Jazira now have 62 points, a 10-point cushion over Al Ahli and with two fixtures left in the League, the title race between the two is well and truly over.

The players, the rest of the squad and the coaching staff celebrated after the final whistle with midfielder Yaqoub Al Hosani leading the way by wearing a helmet, emblazoned with the Al Jazira colours, and steering a cardboard replica of the Arabian Gulf League Shield.

They will have to wait until May 13 to lay their hands on the original Shield when they host Al Dhafra in their last League game at home - the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

Al Jazira's victory on the night, came courtesy of a Ali Ahmed Mabkhout hat-trick with the frontman going on to equal Asamoah Gyan's League record of 31 goals, set in the 2012-13 season with Al Ain.

And with two games left, Ali Mabkhout is well on course to raise that benchmark.

It seemed to be a convincing victory in the end but it wasn't so at the start with Hatta, President's Cup semifinalists, proving to be stoic opponents.

But Al Jazira did find a way with Khalfan Mubarak impressive as ever in midfield.

Ali Mabkhout had an early chance on 12 minutes but his tricky grounder from a tight angle was collected safely by goalkeeper Obid Raihan at the near post.

Hatta too tested the Al Jazira goal moments later but Abdulla Almulla drilled his shot over the cross bar, after shaking off his marker.

Khalfan Mubarak also had a try in what was a frantic opening but his attempt from the left was held on by Obid Raihan.

Al Jazira were then denied by the woodwork as Yaqoub Al Hosani's shot hit the cross bar after a well-marked Ali Mabkhout had set it up for him, following a long ball from Leonardo.

Ali Mabkhout broke the deadlock on 39 minutes by heading home Mbark Boussoufa's cross from the right.

Al Jazira were 2-0 up after the break after Samuel Rosa deflected Leonardo's corner into his own goal.

Ali Mabkhout then added the third by firing it in off a pass from Khalfan Mubarak.

Substitute Ailton scored the fourth with four minutes left, tucking it past Obid Raihan after a pass from fellow substitute Sultan Barghash.

Ali Mabkhout then rounded it off with a penalty in stoppage time.

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