Al-Wasl have a mountain to climb after losing the first leg 2-0 at home…
The second leg of UAE’s Arabian Gulf Cup semifinals is set to take place on Tuesday with Al-Ittihad and Shabab Al-Ahli carrying an advantage over their opponents from the first leg.
Al-Ittihad beat Al-Nasr 2-1 at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in the first leg. The hosts were reduced to 10-men within five minutes of the match, and the opposition made the most of the numerical advantage by chipping away with two away goals through Peniel Mlapa and Nasser Abdulhadi.
Ittihad had a scintillating run in the tournament as they knocked out heavyweights Al-Jazira in the playoff round, and defeated Bani Yas in the quarterfinals to earn a semi-final berth. This is the best performance in their history in this competition.
Al-Nasr have a difficult task at hand as they need to score a minimum of two goals to have a shot at the finals. Whereas, a draw or even a 1-0 loss would see the Blues reach the finals.
In the other match, Al-Ahli already have a foot in the title decider, courtesy of their 2-0 away win against Al-Wasl. Goals from Igor Jesus and Mohamed Jaber at the Zabeel Stadium have put them on top ahead of the second leg. If they manage to qualify for the finals, then it would be their third successive year in the summit clash.
Al-Wasl have a mountain to climb as they must strike early to get back into the match. They eliminated Al-Wahda and Sharjah on their road to the semis.
Fabio Lima must find his scoring boots if his team has to come back in the fixture. Their recent league form is also a concern as they have not managed to win their last two games.
This marks the 12th clash between Shabab Al Ahli and Al Wasl in the Arabian Gulf Cup. Al-Ahli have won five times, whereas their opponent has bagged the bragging rights on three occasions. Three matches have ended in draws.