Jaime Ayovi grabbed the glory for Shabab Al Ahli as his extra-time strikes secured the Arabian Gulf Cup for the Dubai club with a 3-1 victory over Abu Dhabi’s Al Wahda at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
Henrique Luvannor opened the scoring for Shabab with a simple tap-in five minutes before the half-time interval, but they could not go into the break with the advantage as Sebastian Tagliabue levelled the scores with a screamer right on the 45-minute whistle.
The second half was a stalemate as both sides seemed more afraid to concede a goal rather than go for a killer strike.
In extra-time, Ayovi proved to be the difference as he put Shabab ahead for the second time in the game with a fortuitous deflection six minutes into the period.
This time Shabab not only held on to their advantage, but extended it as Ecuadoran Ayovi made it 3-1 with his second of the night six minutes after the change of ends as some patient passing allowed him to pick his spot and kill the game.
The Shabab fans were already partying as Al Wahda desperately hunted for a goal to give a glimmer of hope. But Shabab held on to lift the trophy for coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena and deny Henk Ten Cate’s side.
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