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Arabian Gulf Cup roundup: Shabab Al Ahli, Al Wasl, Al Nasr, Kalba book semis berths

The second leg of the Arabian Gulf Cup quarter-final saw Shabab Al Ahli, Al Wasl, titleholders Al Nasr and Ittihad Kalba seal their spots in the semi-final of the competition. The first three teams have either made it to the final or win the title before. On the other hand, Kalba booked their placed in the semi-final for the first time in their history after eliminating Bani Yas.


Al Nasr needed an own goal to seal their spot in the next stage. After playing out a 1-1 draw with Fujairah at home in the first leg, the Blues failed to create any real chances in the first half at Fujairah Stadium. They looked more dangerous after the break yet couldn’t find the back of the net until Hamdan Nasser mistakenly converted Ryan Mendes effort into his own net to hand Al Nasr a valuable win, as they advanced to the semi-final for the third time in a row.


On the other hand, Kalba and Bani Yas clash was decided by a penalty shootout. Kalba had a slight advantage as they played out a 1-1 draw away from home in the first leg. However, it was Bani Yas who opened the scoring at the Ittihad Kalba Stadium, thanks to Sultan Alshamsi’s powerful effort from the edge the box. Not long after, Mansour Albloushi levelled the scoreline for the Tigers. Keepers Yousif Al Zaabi and Ahmed Al Hosani pulled off a number of fine saves, forcing the game into a penalty shootout, which saw Kalba emerge 6-5 winners to reach the semi-final for the first time in their history.


Shabab Al Ahli already had an edge over Khorfakkan, thanks to their 4-2 win away from home in the first leg. They needed less than a minute at Rashid Stadium to further extend their lead through Igor Jesus, who later on assisted two other goals. Carlos Eduardo and Mohammed Juma found the back of the net before the break, while substitutes Ahmed Alhashmi and Saeed Ahmed got their name into the scoresheet in the final 10 minutes of the match to hand their side a 5-0 win, as they advanced to the semi-final for the sixth straight season.


Al Wasl made it to the semi-final after eliminating league leaders Sharjah. Both teams had equal chances ahead of the game at Zabeel Stadium, after playing out a 0-0 draw in the first leg. While Sharjah controlled possession, Al Wasl were the more dangerous side, threatening the King on goal on various occasions. Haboosh Saleh handed the hosts a 1-0 lead four minutes before the break and Joao Figueiredo converted from the spot early in the second half to seal the win for his side.


The next stage will now see Al Wasl clash with Shabab Al Ahli in a highly anticipated derby, while Al Nasr will continue their title defence against Kalba in the other semi-final match.

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