Two double hat-tricks, one by a Brazilian and the other from fast-improving UAE striker were the highlight as Al Ahli and Fujairah Club booked their places in the semi-finals of the President’s Cup Beach Soccer at Al Mamzar over the weekend.
Brazilian Mauricio Oliveira, drafted especially for this two-week competition along with Stephan Meier by Al Ahli scored six as the league champions thrashed Al Arabi 13-6 on Friday, while UAE striker Mousa Ibrahim was on target an equal number of times in Fujairah Club’s shock 9-6 win over league runners-up Ajman Club on Saturday.
Al Nasr and Al Shabab booked the other two spots in the last four stages of the competition with identical 3-2 wins over Al Wasl and Ittihad Kalba respectively.
But it was the goal-scoring spree from the two strikers Mauricio Oliveira and Mousa Ibrahim that caught the attention of the spectators. Mauricio Oliveira, who got a slight injury on his left foot towards the end of play, was in sublime form as he single-handedly put Al Ahli in the clear early in the match against Al Arabi.
Thanks to Mauricio Oliveira’s six goals, Al Ahli was comfortably placed 7-3 at the end of the first period itself. Another two strikes and the defending league champions were 9-4 in the clear by the second period.
But Al Arabi did not give up as two quick goals drew them close at 6-9, while Mauricio Oliveira rounded off his scoring for the evening and former Swiss skipper Stephan Meier added his name to the score list as Al Ahli walked away winners.
Mousa Ibrahim was the other high scorer as he found the nets on two occasions in each of the three periods of play to help Fujairah Club stun league runners-up Ajman Club.
Ibrahim’s strikes were so crucial that the team from Northern Emirates was comfortably ahead 7-1 early in the second period. But Ajman, who have been training hard since the end of Ramadan, fought back to come within one goal (6-7).
However, that was the closest they could get as Mousa Ibrahim scored his sixth and Yousuf Yaqoob added one more with just 20 seconds remaining to help Fujairah into the semis.
This year’s President’s Cup Beach Soccer has attracted eight teams divided into two groups with next Friday’s semi-finals witnessing Al Ahli taking on Al Shabab while Al Nasr will play Fujairah Club.
(On Friday) Al Ahli def. Al Arabi 13-6; Al Shabab def. Ittihad Kalba 3-2.
(On Saturday) Fujairah Club def. Ajman Club 9-6; Al Nasr def. Al Wasl 3-2.