A captivating affair at Bani Yas Stadium saw Ittihad Kalba come away with a precious point in a 1-1 draw on Thursday despite playing with a numerical disadvantage for 89 minutes and finishing the game with eight men.
It took just 35 seconds for the drama to start unfolding as Ittihad Kalba goalkeeper Jamal Ismael was dispossessed inside his box while trying to dribble past the press, and in his attempt to recover, he pulled down Bani Yas forward Hamdan Al Mahri who was through on the empty goal.
Ismael was instantly shown his marching orders with the hosts being awarded a penalty kick that was duly converted by Nicolas Gimenez.
Five minutes before the break, Al Mahri was again on the receiving end of a foul that resulted in a dismissal as Peruvian midfielder Wilder Cartagena elbowed the Bani Yas man, earning his side’s second red card of the half.
Ittihad Kalba picked-up right where they left-off after the restart and within three minutes they were down to eight men as Mohammed Sowaweed tackled Gimenez from behind and being sent for an early shower.
Incredibly, the eight-man visitors got their equaliser in the 52nd minute through Abdulaziz Hamad’s thunderous free-kick from 35 yards out and were able to hold out for the rest of the game even as Uruguayan head coach Jorge da Silva followed on the footsteps of his undisciplined trio, seeing red at the hour mark.
The result means Ittihad Kalba finish the season in 11th place with 28 points while Bani Yas end their campaign in ninth with 31 points.