Round 17 of the Arabian Gulf League witnessed a collective failure of the leading teams Sharjah and Al Jazira, as well as Baniyas, which allowed other teams to approach the summit and shuffle the cards again in the current season’s league shield race.
And Sharjah had stumbled for the third match in a row without a victory, after it tied with Al Wahda and lost by Al Ain, and tied with Al Dhafra in the last round, while Al Jazira did not take advantage of that, and also stumbled with a draw with Bani Yas, who also missed getting close to the two top teams. , And continued third.
The tour witnessed strange scenarios and exciting matches that ended in stoppage time, and Al Ain was the biggest beneficiary, along with Al Nasr and Shabab Al Ahly. “Emirates Today” monitored a question to the public through the newspaper’s Twitter account: Who is the biggest beneficiary of the 17th round of the Arab Gulf League?
The four teams that scored important victories were monitored: Al Ain, Al Nasr, Shabab Al Ahly and Al Wahda.
In a vote in which 365 people participated, 52.6% agreed that Al Ain is the most benefited, followed by Shabab Al-Ahly 24.9%, Al-Nasr 15.1%, and Al-Wahda 7.4%.
The excitement reached its extent in the Al-Jazira and Baniyas match, after Al-Jazira advanced with two goals, then Bani Yas drew and advanced quickly before canceling three goals for Al-Jazira, but scored a tie in the 93rd minute, along with Mabkhout wasting a penalty kick. Al-Wasl returned, tied 4-4 after being three goals behind, while Shabab Al-Ahly defeated Hatta in two minutes, all of which made the 17th round the highest goalscoring round with the first with 29 goals.
Al Ain and Al Nasr are no longer separated by only seven points from Sharjah and Al Jazeera, who are the leaders with 37 points. The two leaders will face each other in the next round, which may open the door for Al Ain, Al-Ahly, Al-Nasr, and Al-Wahda closer.
Al-Nasr, who lost five matches so far, was the best and the most dominating against Sharjah, Al-Ain, Al-Wahda and Al-Wasl, which means that he may tighten his grip on the matches if the stopping scorer Tigali returns and succeeds in exploiting the offensive side. On the other hand, Al Ain needs to strengthen the defensive side that cost him a lot this season.
The bottom struggle was sparked by the return of the impressive level of the Hatta team, and the difference between the bottom trio is no longer large, which means the possibility of surprises, especially with Khorfakkan also having 15 points.
Two rounds are crucial
Technical analyst Khaled Obaid confirmed that there are more than one team who benefited from the results of the 17th round, not just (Al-Zaeem), and that the next two rounds will be largely decisive. He told «Emirates Today»: Perhaps the island also benefited from the deadly draw with Bani Yas to equal Sharjah. The leading team may also have benefited from Al Jazira or Bani Yas not winning and thus maintaining the lead.
He continued: “Al-Ain, Al-Nasr and Shabab Al-Ahly benefited by approaching the lead, and Al-Wasl also benefited from not losing the eighth game in a row, which is a large number, and it may be more important than winning not to lose a loss. The next two rounds will largely determine the shape of the competition and the team closest to the title, especially with the Sharjah and Al Jazeera summit and then facing victory after it, and the meeting of Al-Ahly youth with Al-Jazeera, and Al-Ain with Al-Wasl in the next round, all of which are decisive confrontations.
To view the results of Round 17, the top scorers and the teams’ standings, Please click on this link.
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