Sam Cosgrove continued his impressive recent form with both goals in Aberdeen’s 2-0 win over Dibba Al-Hisn.
A goal in each half for Cosgrove – named Premiership player of the month earlier this week – was more than enough for the Dons, as they cruised to victory in the friendly contest.
A decent turnout of around 100 Dons fans travelled 25km outside Dubai city centre to the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence, where Aberdeen had been based this week.
Their part-time opponents, a UAE First League side, journeyed from two hours north to fulfil the fixture, from their base by the Gulf of Oman.
Shay Logan, Mikey Devlin, Tommie Hoban and Stevie May sat out for the Dons, with Dominic Ball starting at right-back and Stephen Gleeson partnering Dean Campbell in midfield.
The Dons starting promisingly, with Graeme Shinnie and Scott Wright both going close and Campbell cracking the inside of the post. Scott McKenna headed Shinnie’s free-kick straight at goalkeeper Salem Rashed.
Aberdeen were comfortable in possession and Dibba offered little in the first half, with lone striker Vinicius Lopes isolated up front.
James Wilson, who was paired alongside Sam Cosgrove in attack, had two chances to break the deadlock, glancing Shinnie’s cross wide and then when faced with a one-on-one with Rashed, finding the side netting.
The Emirati side were robust, with Connor McLennan taking a couple of heavy challenges down the right flank. The Dons probed and had plenty of the ball in the first period but were unable to convert their dominance into goals until six minutes before the break.
Wilson drifted into space and was able to slide the ball through to Cosgrove, who finished low across goal into the far corner.
Cosgrove superbly rifled in a second five minutes after half-time, latching on to Gary Mackay-Steven’s reverse pass and belting beyond Rashed at his near post.
Another opportunity for Wilson was thwarted by Rashed, as he came to block his one-on-one chance, while Cosgrove was denied a hat-trick by the referee’s whistle for a foul.
Abdullah Al-Wahdani had Dibba’s only chance of the second period, firing at Tomas Cerny from the edge of the box and the Czech goalkeeper gathered at the second attempt.
Wilson hit the post late on and Mackay-Steven was superbly denied by Rashed but it mattered little for the Dons, who head home tomorrow on the back of a comfortable win.