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Arabian Gulf League: Nilmar on target as Al Nasr climb to second.

Summary: Brazilian striker settles five-goal thriller at Al Jazira

By Euan Reedie, Chief Sports Writer - Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Al Nasr capitalised on Arabian Gulf League leaders Al Ain's 1-1 draw at Bani Yas on Sunday evening when a 3-2 win at toiling Al Jazira took them a point behind The Boss to second place in the table.

The Blue Wave's Brazilian striker Nilmar scored the winner for Ivan Jovanovic's buoyant side, his first AGL goal, after Ali Mabkhout's brace cancelled out efforts from Luis Jimenez and Jamal Maroof.

Meanwhile, defending champions Al Ain dropped points for only the second time in the league this season after Fawaz Awana gave Bani Yas a share of the spoils with a 66th-minute equaliser to Saeed Al Katheeri's first-half opener.

In the Al Jazira-Al Nasr clash, it was the visitors who made the brighter start and deservedly led 2-0 after only 18 minutes. The first goal came when former Al Jazira winger Jonathan Pitroipa's lofted cross fell to Jimenez, who hit a sweetly struck volley into the back of the net after 16 minutes.

Two minutes later, Al Nasr doubled their advantage when Maroof fired in after a goalmouth scramble.

At the other end, some desperate defending in the box from Ahmad Ebrahim and Hussain Abbas Juma prevented Jefferson Farfan from cutting the deficit.

But in the 26th minute, it was 2-1 as a misjudged back-pass from young left-back Hussain Abbas Juma was intercepted by Mabkhout, who slotted the ball into an empty net with goalkeeper Ahmad Shambieh out of position.

In the 38th minute, Mabkhout netted his and Al Jazira's second when Yaqoub Al Hosani dispossessed Khalid Jalal and put the UAE striker through to equalise.

However, the visitors regained the lead when Nilmar stabbed in from close range after 63 minutes. The two-goal lead was almost restored when the ball dropped to Hussain Abbas Juma in the area as Al Jazira failed to clear their lines from a corner, but the left-back's strike was deflected off target and into the side netting. Al Jazira are now without a win in nine games and are languishing in 10th place.

Elsewhere, Al Katheeri opened the the scoring for Al Ain after 22 minutes of their game at Bani Yas by volleying a long, lofted pass from Omar Abdul Rahman past goalkeeper Mohammad Khalaf. Although they maintained their advantage at the interval, Al Ain buckled to concede an equaliser into the second half as Bani Yas levelled through Awana.

In Sunday's early match, Fujairah beat 10-man Al Wahda 2-1 away thanks to two Christophe Mandanne penalties.

The league resumes on Thursday when Saturday's Asian Champions League beaten finalist Al Ahli, who lie third in the table, travel to Al Shabab.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 23, 2015
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