UAE Pro League review: Late goals boost Al-Ain and Al-Wasl

DNOC Pro League title hopefuls Al-Ain and Al-Wasl were grateful for late goals, while defeat spelt doom for two head coaches, in an eventful matchweek nine. Unstoppable Togo hit man Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba produced his leading 10th strike this term — plus, an inventive UAE Flag Day celebration — to complete champions Al-Ain’s 2-1, comeback victory against Khor Fakkan in the 80th minute. Meanwhile, UAE forward Fabio De Lima converted a 100th-minute penalty in the round’s dramatic final act when Al-Wasl came from behind to down Ajman 2-1. Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai Club’s 6-0 thumping of new boys Al-Bataeh brought an end to Caio Zanardi’s reign and former Bayern Munich midfielder Thorsten Fink was replaced at 12th-placed Al-Nasr by Goran Tomic after a 2-0 home loss against Al-Jazira. Caio’s 87th-minute spot-kick pushed first-placed Sharjah past struggling Al-Dhafra 1-0 in returning boss Aleksandar Veselinovic’s second debut, Joao Pedro struck twice when Al-Wahda beat bottom-placed Dibba Al-Fujairah 3-0 in a match that finished with 10 men apiece, and dark horses Ittihad Kalba kept in the mix courtesy of their 2-1 downing of Baniyas.

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