Joao Figueiredo netted a late goal as Al Wasl edged Al Wahda 2-1 at Al Nahyan Stadium on Friday night in the first leg of the Arabian Gulf Cup playoff round held under the slogan “commit to win”.
Al Wahda got off to a fiery start, as they were handed a penalty kick just 10 minutes into the game, after Al Wasl's Hueglo Neris handled the ball inside the box. Ismail Matar sent the ball home from the spot to make it 1-0.
Just five minutes later, Al Wahda nearly doubled their lead. However, the Cheetahs' Humaid Abdulla pulled off an excellent triple save aided by the woodwork to deny Al Wahda their second goal of the night.
Nasser Noor leveled things up for Al Wasl just two minutes ahead of the break. Nicolas Oroz received the ball up the left flank and sent a ground cross towards Noor, who finished into the back of Rashed Ali's net.
In the second half, Oroz and Noor combined once again eight minutes after the restart. Oroz' cross was met by the number 27, but his header missed the target narrowly.
Both teams failed to create further dangerous chances until the dying moments of the game, when Joao Figueiredo snatched the victory for the Cheetahs. The forward converted Oroz' accurate pass past Ali to make it 2-1.
After snatching a valuable 2-1 away win, Al Wasl will look to secure qualification when they host Al Wahda at Zabeel Stadium in the second leg on November 13.