Ali Daei, George Weah and Moroccan Al-Afawi star in UAE league opener

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MEF - DUBAI, Oct. 18: some significant results were recorded in the opening week of the United Arab Emirates league championship, with foreign players claiming the limelight as expected.

Veteran Iranian international forward Ali Daei netted twice in his first official appearance for Al-Shabab but that wasn’t enough to prevent the Dubai outfits from going down 3-2 away to star-studded Al-Ahly for whom Moroccan new import Rabih Al-Afawi 20, Iranian striker Ali Karimi 68 and Hassan Ali Ibrahim 86 from the penalty spot gave them a hard-fought 3-2 home win.

Mighty Al-Wahda came from 2-0 down to finally claim all precious three points, thanks to a phenomenal second-half seeing them netting on three occasions without reply to finally gain a narrow but vital 3-2 away victory over newly-promoted outfits Dubai SC.

Brazilian new recruit Paulo Sergio was the winners’ hero after scoring a brace in the 66th and 90th minutes, with Haydar Alo-Ali leading the change for the visitors midway through the second-half with their opening goal after 65 minutes from a devastating drive, cancelling out both goals netted for the home side by Tanzanian forward Peter Kaboka 12 and Chilean international striker Cristian Montecinos in the 63rd minute.

Last season’s league runners-up Al-Jazira needed a last-gasp strike from veteran Liberian international George Weah after 79 minutes to finally content with a 1-1 home draw with Al-Sha’ab, for whom all-rounder Abdulrahman Ibrahim claimed the opening gaal, seven minutes after the interval, from the blank point.

Three other fixtures are die to be staged on Friday, including a titanic clash for defending title holders Al-Ain at home to Sharjah, while Al-Wasl entertain newcomers to the top flight Dhafra at home in a seemingly-easy outing, and Al-Nasr of Dubai move to Kalba to face unpredictable outfits Al-Ittihad.

Following are the featured results and table standings:

1st Week (17/10/2002):
· Dubai – Al-Wahda: 2-3. Peter Kaboka (12’), Cristian Montecinos (63’).///// Haydar Alo-Ali (65’), Paulo Sergio (66’; 90’).
· Al-Ahly – Al-Shabab: 3-2. Rabih Al-Afawi (20’), Ali Karimi (68’), Hassan Ali Ibrahim (86’ pen.).///// Ali Daei (31’; 71’ pen.).
· Al-Jazira – Al-Sha’ab: 1-1. George Weah (79’).///// Abdulrahman Ibrahim (52’ pen.).
· 
· Al-Ain - Sharjah: 
· Al-Ittihad – Al-Nasr:
· Al-Wasl – Dhafra:


Club Pl W D L Gf Ga Pts
1. Al-Wahda 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
=. Al-Ahly 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
2. Al-Jazira 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
=. Al-Sha’ab 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
4. Al-Ain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
=. Sharjah 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
=. Al-Ittihad 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
=. Al-Nasr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
=. Al-Wasl 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
=. Dhafra 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11.Dubai 1 0 0 1 2 3 0
=. Al-Shabab 1 0 0 1 2 3 0

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