DUBAI: Rapture flourished for Leonardo Jardim’s drawn out pioneers Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai Club when they dug out from a deficit to wrap up their most memorable ADNOC Ace Association title in fittingly resolved style. In addition, Al-Bataeh was well-positioned to win a thrilling final-day survival match during a memorable matchweek 25 thanks to Lourency’s double.
Uzbekistan midfielder Aziz Ganiev and emerging UAE winger Yahya Al-Ghassani scored in the second half to give the merged team a 2-1 victory at Baniyas.
This week’s deciding round at the top was meaningless due to their superior head-to-head record against now-dethroned champions Al-Ain, who defeated Al-Wasl 3-2 and Al-Wahda, which defeated 10-man Ajman 3-2.
However, there is still a lot at stake in the race to avoid being swept into the First Division League by Al-Dhafra, who defeated Al-Jazira 4-1 in a dead-rubber match started by a 40-yard lob from veteran Sultan Al-Ghaferi.
With a 2-0 victory over 10-man Al-Nasr, 12th-place Al-Bataeh ended their 14-match winless streak. They now sit two points ahead of 13th-place Dibba Al-Fujairah, a fellow promoted team, with an equal head-to-head record and goal difference. Dibba Al-Fujairah fought back to draw 1-1 at a Sharjah for which ex-Barcelona strike
Al-Ittihad Kalba and Khor Fakkan were tied 1-1 in the middle of the table.
Here are Middle Easterner News’ top picks and an idea from the most recent activity.
Player of the Week – Lourency (Al-Bataeh)
a suitable time for both the club and the leading scorer to end lengthy droughts.
After this crucial second-half defeat of inconsistent giants Al-Nasr, Al-Bataeh can feel confident heading into a stressful matchweek 26.
In his debut season in the top flight in 2022 and 2023 for a team that was founded just 11 years earlier, Lourency was portrayed as the hero, scoring a well-taken double to score 12 league goals.
The first goal was a delicate clip from a creative pass from Cameroon forward Anatole Abang. The second goal came after another cute assist from Malian defensive midfielder Sekou Gassama.
The ex-Goztepe forward had last gotten in the Feb. 18 2-1 misfortune at Al-Wahda, seven matchweeks earlier.
Importantly, the lauded goalkeeper Mutaz Abdulla, a 2002-2003 AFC Champions League winner who had been brought in to salvage Al-Bataeh’s shaky campaign, was in charge of the Brazilian’s resurgence.
The club’s hopes of staying in the ADNOC Pro League may not be dashed by the curious patience of long-term caretaker Said Chkhit. On November 12, Al-Bataeh had previously prevailed under the Moroccan.
However, the work of defining it remains to be done.
Al-Bataeh hold a thin focuses advantage however should visit an Al-Ain faltering from concession of their first class prize. Dibba have bound Al-Dhafra, the main club beneath them in the rankings.
With the two assignment rivals sharing 1-0 away wins this term, no holds barred records are precluded. To pull off their great escape, Dibba needs to win, and it should be a good win.
In any case, Al-Bataeh have offered themselves a solid chance at endurance, because of the convenient presentation of their mid year expansion Lourency.
Objective of the Week – King Al-Ghaferi (Al-Dhafra)
Al-Ghaferi evokes a bygone era.
On Saturday, the defensive midfielder, 36, scored an unforgettable goal against a former employer.
When goalkeeper Ali Khaseif, a former Al-Jazira and UAE teammate, threw out from a harmless free kick in the 21st minute, there appeared to be no threat. However, a few seconds later, Al-Ghaferi took a wrong pass and returned the ball 40 yards over the frantic shot stopper’s head.
Rather than David Beckham’s career-defining shot for Manchester United at Wimbledon, the venomous effort was more like the iconic, rasping drive that Clarence Seedorf scored for Real Madrid against Atletico.
Al-Ghaferi has only appeared in sporadic matches since Al-Dhafra was demoted, after 11 years in the ADNOC Pro League. He only appeared in one game for Al-Jazira in the dreadful 2019–2020 season.
Leonardo Jardim, of the Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai Club, is this week’s coach.
Andriy Yarmolenko, Miralem Pjanic, Jonathan Denayer, Alcacer, Allan and a few different stars guaranteed worldwide titles when ADNOC Master Association sides went on an extraordinary – and ritzy – summer shopping binge.
Despite a glittering resume, the name who would define 2022 and 2023 slipped under the radar.
Jardim demonstrated a fitting decision when Shabab Al-Ahli attempted to transform rehash cup accomplishment into first class brilliance, interestingly since 2017’s progressive blend. It would likewise be a fitting objective scorer who fixed their matchless quality.
Al-Ghassani procured an unbelievable triumph at Baniyas, turning on max engine propulsion before easily clearing in a one-on-one.
Except for Henk ten Cate, numerous coaches at Shabab Al-Ahli and Al-Wahda had failed to realize the winger’s enormous potential. That’s when Jardim’s patient work at Monaco, Sporting Lisbon, and other clubs came into play.
In addition, the Portuguese have made Ganiev, Igor Jesus, Yuri Cesar, Harib Abdalla, and Ahmed Jamil into vicious winners.
The groundwork is in place for a prosperous time.
Objective distinction, or straight on?
A specialized matter, yet one with genuine effect.
Every match was counted because the ADNOC Pro League decided to use the head-to-head record rather than goal difference as the first tiebreaker.
However, it has prevented a fitting end to this stunning season.
With second-place Al-Ain’s vastly superior +33 goal difference, they would know that if they beat Shabab Al-Ahli in the matchweek 26 finale, they would win a record-extending 15th top-flight title. Despite the three points that separate Al-Wahda from first place, the title race is now over.
The ADNOC Genius Association isn’t the only one in its position. The same strategy has been utilized by Saudi Arabia’s Roshn Saudi League, Italy’s Serie A, and Spain’s LaLiga.
But would it be worthwhile to imitate the Premier League in England, the Ligue 1 in France, or the Bundesliga in Germany? It’s a complicated topic that needs more research.