Arabian Gulf League (AGL): Al Wahda Hammers Hatta 6-0 to Kick Off New Season in the Emirates
By David DeMaria/Arab America Contributing Writer
The Arabian Gulf League launched a new season with four matches on Friday, the first of which saw Al Wahda easily handle Hatta 6-
0 at Al Nahyan Stadium in the Emirati Capital of Abu Dhabi
Slovenian forward Tim Matavz scored a goal in the 5th minute to open the account for Al Wahda in what would be a long night for Hatta.
Defender Fares Jumaa gave Al Wahda its second goal in the 15th minute, putting Hatta in an early 2-0 hole
Al Wahda struck again just before halftime with Matavz scoring his second goal 2 minutes into stoppage time.
Tahnoon Al-Zaabi put his club up 4-0 with a goal in the 58th minute.
Ismail Matar scored on a penalty kick in the 80th minute to give Al Wahda a 5-0 lead.
Nine minutes later, Al Wahda tacked on a 6th goal on penalty kick by Paul-Jose M’Poku.
The start of the Emirati season is also marked by the launch of an easy to use website (UAEProleague.ae) and a high-tech phone app so fans can follow their favorite clubs.
Because of Covid-19 there won’t be any fans in the stadiums, so the league is making a digital push to better connect fans to their favorite teams and players even if they can’t attend the matches.
The app, which will enable fans to register and access a personalized profile where they can choose their favorite team and add their team’s schedule of matches to their phone calendar and follow live details of every match. The app is available for download on Android and iOS in Arabic and English, and also promotes interaction between fans
Three other matches took place on Friday with Al Dhafra defeating Ajman 4-1. Later on Friday, Bani Yas will take on Al Wasl in Dubai, while defending champions Sharjah will go up against Fujaira.
In Saturday’s matches, last season’s runner-up Shabab Al Ahli Dubai will travel to Kalba, while Al Ain will host Khor Fakkan in two early matches. Later on Saturday, Al Nasr will host Al Jazira in a late night match at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
Tragedy struck the league on Thursday night when Sultan Saif, a former player for both Bani Yas and Al Wahda, died in a car crash along with his wife and son, after crashing into a truck in Abu Dhabi.