The 2015/2016 Arabian Gulf League has fully kicked off and provided spectators with several notable games in week 3. With the week’s matches now finished, let’s take a look at the top talking points and stand out players from the latest round.
Key Players from Week 3:
Al Ahli Dubai dressed in their new kit unveiled at Sun and Sand Sports in The Dubai Mall last month maintained their 100% start to the season with a hard fought 2 – 1 win over Al Dhafra. Lima continued his excellent start to the season with the opening goal.
Ryan Babel found relief from the pressure bought on by fans, players and the media for his less-than-spectacular performances on the pitch. His sharp retorts posted on social media sites regarding his modest pitch performances have only added to the fire. With his first career goal for Al-Ain in the 2-1 win against Sharjah he must have enjoyed a big relief from all the pressure. He ended the game on a real high after also providing the cross for the opening goal for Rashid Essa.
In contrast, the news has not been good for Al Jazira’s Khamis Ismail after suffering an injury setback. He is a crucial player for both club and country and his injury will adversely affect their chances of success in the coming weeks. He is now considered as physically unfit for action for the next eight weeks, after his injury to his lateral ligament during the game against Al Wahda. This means that Ismail will be out of the games for the UAE’s 2018 World Cup qualification, which will pit the country against Saudi Arabia on October 8. He is also likely to miss out on the action for the two matches on November 12 against East Timor and on November 17 against Malaysia. Mahdi Ali will certainly miss Ismael’s imposing presence in midfield during the games although he has several competent alternatives.
Also not so lucky this week was Henrique Luvannor who was forced to watch the game against Al Wahda because of his prior red card. During this match, he was booked by the referee despite being brought down by Hamdan Al Kamali, his second time for the game, which meant that Al Shabab lost his services for the dissapointing draw with Dibba Al Fujairah that finished 0-0.
Jires Kembo Ekoko continues to prove his worth on the field for the regions oldest club Al Nasr. Ekoko expertly shimmied around Yaser Salem several times before going for the kill and striking a powerful shot into the goal. He then became provider for Jonathan Pitroipa, which led to Al Nasr’s 2-0 win.
Sebastian Tagliabue made the game more exciting during the Al Jazira-Al Wahda match, Tagliabue scored a piercing volley that brought Al Wahda into contention despite the dominance of Al Jazira. He brought the score to 2-2 to make things more interesting but the real hero of the week was Yaser Matar who scored a last gasp winning goal five minutes into overtime to make it 3-2 to Al Jazira.
You can keep up to date with all the excitement in the AGL on the Arabian Gulf League official Twitter account.