A first-half penalty from Igor Coronado helped Sharjah edge Al Jazira 1-0 at Mohammad bin Zayed Stadium in matchweek 5 of the Arabian Gulf League on Saturday.
The first real chance of the game fell to Welliton Soares in the seventh minute. Igor Coronado dribbled past Al Jazira players and crossed the ball inside the box to Welliton, but the Brazilian forward failed to control it before it was intercepted by Al Jazira’s defence.
Al Jazira had a chance to open the scoring just after the quarter-hour mark when Abdulla Ramadan’s left-footed effort flashed wide of goal.
Sharjah were awarded a penalty after Coronado was brought down in the box by Khalifa Alhammadi. The Brazilian midfielder stepped up and converted into the bottom left corner of the net to hand the King a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute.
Ali Mabkhout came close to levelling the scoreline three minutes before the break when he controlled the ball in a brilliant manner and fired an effort only to go inches wide of goal.
The 30-year-old forward missed another chance to net the equalizer after receiving a defence-splitting pass from Ramadan that allowed him to beat his markers, yet he missed the target again, allowing Sharjah to go into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Right after the restart, Adel Al Hosani was forced into a fine save to deny Mabkhout with a shot from inside the box.
Sharjah came close to doubling their lead seven minutes into the second half when Luan Pereira sent a header that smacked the woodwork.
Al Jazira players started to apply more pressure and they saw Al Hosani deny Mabkhout once more after making a diving save on the latter’s close-range effort to maintain his clean sheet. The Sharjah keeper continued to impress as he diverted Milos Kosanovic’s freekick into a corner 10 minutes later.
With seven minutes to go, an inch-perfect pass from Coronado put Caio in a one-on-one situation with Al Jazira keeper Ali Khaseif but the ball rattled the bar to keep Al Jazira chances alive. Caio then forced Khaseif into an injury time save, which wrapped up the match, with Sharjah claiming all three points.
The King maintained their perfect start to the season as they collected their fifth win in a row, raising their tally to 15 points in first place. Meanwhile, the Pride of Abu Dhabi fell to their second defeat in the 2020-21 campaign to remain on eight points.