Shabab Al Ahli managed to maintain a five-point lead at the top of the ADNOC Pro League's table, while Al Dhafra dropped to linger at the bottom after the end of the matchweek 20, which saw a tally of 20 goals.
Matchweek 20, which took place on Friday, and Saturday, March 17th and 18th, saw three home wins, two away victories, and two draws.
Leaders Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club’s grip on the ADNOC Pro League strengthened and holders Al-Ain’s surprisingly weakened, during a potentially pivotal matchweek 20.
Leonardo Jardim’s first-place side dispatched Khorfakkan 3-1 on Friday night, with Syria forward Omar Khribin and Argentine winger Cartabia again among the scorers. Results elsewhere saw a five-point advantage develop, with only six fixtures to fulfill.
Resurgent champions Al Ain were expected to similarly see off relegation-haunted Al Nasr. But Ivorian youngster Abdoulaye Toure’s rasping late effort brought the second-placed side’s seven-match, top-flight winning streak to a juddering halt with a 1-0 defeat at a shell-shocked Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.
Geronimo Poblete and Siaka Sidibe, meanwhile, were dismissed in third-placed Al Wasl’s chaotic 1-1 draw with Ittihad Kalba. Caretaker Arno Buitenweg guided fourth-placed Al Wahda to a 3-1 debut victory at bottom-placed Al Dhafra and Trabzonspor loanee Djaniny’s double helped fifth-placed Sharjah to a 3-0 triumph versus newly-promoted Al Bataeh.
Second-bottom Dibba boosted their slim hopes of survival with a 2-0 victory at Bani Yas, while sixth-placed Ajman and seventh-placed Al Jazira shared late goals in a 1-1 stalemate.
Stats of ADNOC Pro League after 20 matchweeks
3 Goal-scoring rate
70 Clean sheets
3536 Shots, including 1218 shots on target
1, 444 Corner kicks