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UAE Pro League
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Sharjah drop points in title race with draw against Al Dhafra

Sharjah handed Al Jazira a golden chance to climb at the top of the Arabian Gulf League table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Al Dhafra at Hamdan Bin Zayed Stadium on the opening day of matchweek 17 on Thursday.


Both sides created a couple of good chances in the early stages of the game, as they piled the pressure on the opponents’ defence. The King, however, were the better side for large periods of the first half but couldn’t pose a real threat on goal. 


It wasn't until the 32nd minute when the guests broke the deadlock. Welliton Soares latched onto a rebound and fired home to hand his side a 1-0 lead. 


Sharjah’s lead was, however, short-lived as Pedro Conde netted the equaliser three minutes before the break after converting from the spot. Sharjah keeper Adel Al Hosani pulled off a fine save to deny Makhete Diop from handing Al Dhafra the lead before the break.


Sharjah went in search of a winning goal in the second half, as Welliton Soares efforts were either saved by Al Dhafra keeper Khaled Al Senani or missed the target. 


Al Senani was the hero when he denied Caio's header with less than 20 minutes to go, as the game ended in a 1-1 draw, which marked the first draw between Sharjah and Al Dhafra since 2017.


While Sharjah still top the table with 37 points, Al Jazira can take the top spot if they win against Bani Yas later on Thursday. Meanwhile, Al Dhafra earned their first point after three consecutive defeats to raise their tally to 17 points.

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