Domestic Leagues

West Asia Wrap: Al Jazira back on top in UAE as action resumes 


Dubai: Al Jazira reclaimed pole position in the UAE Pro League over the past week following a crucial win over Al Wasl with Baniyas dropping to second after being held by Sharjah.

Al Hilal SFC, meanwhile, will be aiming to restart their Saudi Pro League campaign with a bang while in Qatar, Al Sadd are two matches away from ending the domestic season unbeaten.

Join the-AFC.com as we review the domestic action in West Asia following the international break.

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UAE: Al Jazira capitalise as Baniyas are held

Al Jazira reclaimed top spot in the UAE Pro League with a 3-2 win over Al Wasl on Saturday.

It proved to be a crucial three points in the race for the title as Baniyas, who had led the standings going into the international break, were held 1-1 by Sharjah.

Victory didn't come easy for Al Jazira as Al Wasl twice fought back to draw level, with an own goal by Hueglo Neris (13th) and an Ali Mabkhout (32nd) effort being cancelled by strikes from Fabio de Lima (22nd, 64th).

Milos Kosanovic, however, ensured Al Jazira the points with his 69th minute winner. Al Jazira moved to 50 points from 23 matches, one ahead of Baniyas with three matches remaining.



Bahrain: Al Riffa continue to shine

Al Riffa defeated Budaiya 2-0 on Saturday to maintain an eight-point lead at the top of the Bahraini Premier League.

Mahdi Al Humaidan struck in the 66th minute off a penalty before sealing the points for Al Riffa with a stoppage time strike.

Manama defeated Al Hidd 1-0 on Sunday to stay second on 26 points, one ahead of East Riffa who defeated Busaiteen 2-1.


Iraq: Air Force Club simply unstoppable

Air Force Club look to be cruising to the Iraqi Premier League title after edging Al Qasim 2-1 to stay 10 points ahead at the top of the standings.

Hammadi Ahmed put Air Force Club ahead in the 56th minute but Ali Kareemn drew Al Qasim level four minutes later.

Humam Tariq, however, ensured Air Force Club the points with his winner in the 64th minute.

Al Shorta thumped Al Samawa 7-0 to stay second on 49 points, one ahead of Al Zawra's, who beat Naft Al Janoob.


Palestine: Markaz Balatah close in on second place

With Shabab Al Khalil having sealed the Palestine league title three weeks ago, the race is now focused on the runners-up spot with Markaz Balatah looking set to claim in.

Markaz Balatah defeated Shabab Al Ama'ri 2-1 on Sunday to move to 40 points from 20 matches, six ahead of Jabal Mukaber, who have a match in hand.

Champions Shabab Al Khalil suffered a 2-1 defeat to Hilal Alquds on Sunday.


Lebanon: Nejmeh, Al Ansar in thrilling race

The race for the title looks set to go down to the wire with pacesetters Nejmeh and Al Ansar both recording wins following the resumption of the Lebanese Premier League.

With the league now in the playoff stage, Nejmeh defeated Shabab Al Sahel 3-0 on Sunday, with Al Ansar recording a 1-0 win over Al Ahed.

Both are tied on 31 points after 13 matches, with Nejmeh ahead on goal difference.


Saudi Arabia: Al Hilal on a mission

Al Hilal SFC will be aiming to maintain their lead when the Saudi Pro League resumes on Friday.

It will be the defending champions final league tie before they embark on their 2021 AFC Champions League campaign and they will be determined to defeat Al Ittihad after having overcome a wobble which saw them momentarily drop off the pace.

Al Hilal - on 48 points from 24 matches - hold a three-point lead over Al Shabab, who face Al Batin on Saturday. Al Ittihad are third on 42 points.


Syria: Teshrin eager to restart campaign

Defending champions Teshrin will look to continue from where they left off when they play Al Ittihad in the Syrian Premier League on Saturday.

Five points ahead at the top of the standings, Teshrin will be aiming to maintain their distance with second-placed Al Jaish, who meet Al Hurriya on Saturday.


Qatar: Al Sadd two matches away from unbeaten glory

The Qatar Stars League title safely secured, Al Sadd SC will aim to end their domestic season unbeaten with Al Rayyan and Qatar SC standing in their way.

Xavi's men are on a 20-match unbeaten run - with 17 wins and three draws - and finishing the domestic season undefeated will be a perfect boost ahead of their 2021 AFC Champions League campaign.

Al Sadd - who defeated Al Gharafa 2-0 on Saturday - face Al Rayyan on Tuesday with Qatar SC to follow on Friday.


Oman: Seeb out to protect lead

Seeb will be looking to stay top when the Oman Pro League resumes on Thursday following a six-week break.

Seeb topped the standings with 22 points from 10 matches, two ahead of Dhofar and Al Musannah with plenty of football still to play before the title is decided.

Seeb face Al Nahda on Thursday, with Dhofar facing Oman Club and Al Musannah taking on Al Nasr Salalah.


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Photo: Al Jazira

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