Shabab Al Ahli inch closer to Arabian Gulf Cup final - GulfToday

Shabab Al Ahli inch closer to Arabian Gulf Cup final

Arabian Gulf Cup

Players of Shabab Al Ahli and Al Wasl in action during the first leg of their Arabian Gulf Cup semi-final.

Shabab Al Ahli scored a goal in each half to register a valuable 2-0 win over Al Wasl at Zabeel Stadium in the first leg of the Arabian Gulf Cup semi-final held under the slogan Hope Probe in conjunction with the arrival of the Hope probe to Mars’ orbit.

The first chance of the game fell to Shabab Al Ahli in the 14th minute, when Carlos Eduardo’s effort from the edge of the box sailed wide of the goal.

The guests, however, couldn’t find the back of the net until the 36th minute when Hamdan Al Kamali’s long pass found Igor Jesus who broke inside the box before tapping into the back of the net to hand his side a 1-0 lead ahead of halftime.

Al Wasl failed to pose real threat on Shabab Al Ahli’s goal in the second half and it was the guests who netted a second, as Mohamed Jaber found the ball inside the box off a freekick and beat his marker to slot into the back of the net and double Shabab Al Ahli’s lead.

Shabab Al Ahli will be looking to seal their spot in the final for the third time in a row when they host Al Wasl at Rashid Stadium in the second leg on March 2.

Meanwhile, the UAE Pro League and 1 Play ­Sports have signed a digital rights agreement that will allow the Singapore-based sports media production and streaming company to digitally broadcast the Arabian Gulf League, Arabian Gulf Cup and the Arabian Gulf Super Cup matches live on their media channels, which is a pioneering step towards promoting Emirati football competitions in new markets.

The deal will allow football fans in 1 Play Sports’ key markets across Southeast Asia and the subcontinent to watch one of the Middle East’s best supported leagues online, with multiple language commentary options planned for selected matches, including English, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia and Hindi.

The UAE is a major football destination in the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf League is its main football competition. The league’s current edition is made up of 14 teams scattered over five emirates and each squad features some top-class foreign talents alongside the best domestic stars of the UAE. Representatives of 27 countries play in the Arabian Gulf League this season, including a host of Brazilian and Argentinian players. The top three teams from each season qualify for the next edition of the AFC Champions League.

In addition to the entire Arabian Gulf League season, 1 Play Sports will digitally broadcast selected matches from the Arabian Gulf Super Cup and the Arabian Gulf Cup.

Waleed Al Hosani, UAE Pro League CEO, expressed his delight with the digital rights agreement, stressing it’s an important move that serves the interests of the UAE Pro League and benefits the Emirati football. “I’m delighted to announce reaching an agreement with 1 Play Sports, who will digitally broadcast the Arabian Gulf League 2020/21 season, bringing it to a much-wider audience,” Al Hosani said.

“The UAE Pro League continues to work hard to make the Arabian Gulf League action available to passionate football fans around the world, giving them a chance to closely follow our clubs and competitions,” he added.

The UAE Pro League CEO lauded 1 Play Sports, as he explained that the agreement marks an important step forward for the UAE Pro League. “Our agreement with 1 Play Sports will provide us connection with millions of viewers in Southeast Asia and the subcontinent who will now be able to enjoy a high-quality broadcast of the Arabian Gulf League,” he added.

In turn, 1 Play Sports CEO Mohit Lalvani said, “1 Play Sports has been delighted to partner with the UAE Pro League to bring Arabian Gulf League live coverage to Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent for the first time. The quality of the live football, production and additional content provided has proven to be extremely popular with our regional free to air fanbase.”

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