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Al Jazira enter AGC quarters with 1-0 win.

James Jose

Action from the match between Al Nasr and Al Ain on Thursday. (Supplied photo)

Al Jazira's young striker Ahmed Rabia Al Ghilani scored the winner as the Pride of Abu Dhabi beat Ajman by a solitary goal to punch their ticket for the quarterfinals of the Arabian Gulf Cup.

The Group A fixture was shorn of a few stars who did duty for Al Jazira during the Fifa Club World Cup, with them being called up by UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni for the Gulf Cup of Nations.

But those who remained ensured Al Jazira got the win as well as qualification, with a game to spare. Henk ten Cate's men will play the remaining fixture against Hatta on December 26. The game was postponed because of their commitments in the Fifa Club World Cup.

After a goalless first half, the 22-year-old Ahmed Rabia Al Ghilani scored on 55 minutes and that turned out to be the match winner at Ajman's Rashid bin Saeed Stadium on Thursday night.

Elsewhere, Salem Saleh fired a brace as Al Nasr blanked a depleted Al Ain 3-0 at Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Stadium in Al Awir. Marcelo Cirino had given The Blues the lead, just two minutes in, after which Salem Saleh added cushion with the second on 16 minutes. And then, just past the hour, Salem Saleh scored the third and his second on 62 minutes.

Meanwhile, at the Hatta Stadium, Saeed Al Kathiri scored a double as Al Dhafra rallied from a goal down to beat Hatta 2-1. Samuel Rosa had put Hatta ahead on 19 minutes but Saeed Al Kathiri cancelled that out on 34 minutes. The former Al Wahda and Al Ain man then scored the winner on 75 minutes.

Returning to the Al Jazira game, Salem Al Eedi broke the off-side trap and sent a fine pass to Ahmed Rabia Al Ghilani. The youngster, who had just the goalkeeper to beat, kept his composure and fired it home.

Al Jazira's third win from four fixtures took them to 10 points, while Ajman finished with four points.

In the other game, Rosa latched onto a through ball and fired it past shot stopper Ibrahim Al Kaabi to give Hatta the lead. But Al Dhafra were brought back into the game by Saeed Al Kathiri, with the striker firing the equaliser.

And Al Kathiri scored the winner, unleashing a screamer past the goalkeeper.

james@khaleejtimes.com

GOALS & CARDS:

Hatta 1

(Goal: Samuel Rosa 19. Yellow cards: Lahej Al Nofall 54, Saad Khamis 75, Fernando Gabriel 79, Mahmoud Qasem 88, Adrian Ropotan 90+3)

Al Dhafra 2

(Goals: Saeed Salem Al Kathiri 34, 75. Yellow card: Sultan Al Shamsi 57)

Ajman 0

(Yellow card: Bakary Kone 28)

Al Jazira 1

(Goal: Ahmed Rabia Al Ghilani 55. Yellow card: Issa Al Otaibi 64)

Al Nasr 3

(Goals: Marcelo Cirino 2, Salem Saleh 16, 62. Yellow card: Amir Mubarak 44, Saeed Suwaidan 74)

Al Ain 0

(Yellow cards: Rashed Muhayer Saeed 12, Ahmad Salem Mohamad 23)

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Dec 21, 2017
Words:518
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