Abu Dhabi: A 10-man Al Jazira, riding on a brace by Leonardo Pereira, defeated Fujairah 3-2 in the Arabian Gulf League at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday. At half-time, the hosts led 1-0.
Leonardo put the hosts in the lead in 38th minute after coming close to scoring several times.
The Brazilian trapped a long ball from Khalfan Mubarak with his thigh before firing on the turn to find the goal.
Al Jazira suffered a major jolt after the change of ends with their goalkeeper Ali Khaseif getting a marching order for bringing down a charging Mohammad Khalfan with a sliding tackle.
With Jazira reduced to 10 men, Fujairah pressed hard for an equaliser but their forwards ran out of ideas once inside the box.
Substitute goalkeeper Abdul Rahman Al Ameri, who came in place of forward Ernest Asante, was tested immediately with some long range efforts but he was equally up for the task.
Al Jazira started to breathe easy only after their ace striker Ali Mabkhout widened the lead to 2-0 following a counter. He timed his run to perfection before finding the goal with a neat placement latching onto a through from Khalfan.
Another deft touch from Khalfan allowed Leonardo to complete his brace with a brilliant curling effort which entered the goal after brushing off the vertical.
Immediately after, Fujairah managed to reduce the margin to 3-1 with Mohammad Benyettou tapping home from the centre of the box following a slight lapse in concentration on the part of the Al Jazira defence.
Al Jazira’s substitute goalkeeper Al Ameri was also guilty of committing the same mistake as Khaseif. He brought down Benyettou in the injury time and the latter made it count from the spot and the scores read 3-2 in the end.
In another contest, Ibrahim Diaky helped Al Ain rally from a goal down to beat Al Dhafra 2-1 at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium. At half time, Al Dhafra led through Ahmad Ali Al Abri.