Al Ain Revive Hope with Crucial Win

ABU DHABI - Former champions Al Ain revived their campaign in the AFC Champions League with a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia’s Al Shabab at the Shaikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain on Tuesday night.

By James Jose

Published: Fri 26 Mar 2010, 1:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:21 AM

Emerson scored in the 14th minute while Jose Sand doubled the lead in the 23rd minute. Abdulaziz Nasser Saran scored the lone goal for Al Shabab in the first minute of injury time in the first half.

Al Ain, who won the AFC Champions League in 2003, won their first game in this year’s edition and are third in the standings in Group C with four points. They had lost to Uzbekistan side Pakhtakor by a solitary goal at home before coming away goalless against Iran’s Foolad Mobarekeh Sepahan.

Al Ain looked a much stronger unit and had their first chance in the sixth minute but their playmaker Jorge Valdivia’s header lacked sting. Jose Sand took the rebound but shot wide.

Emerson, who was returning from an injury, had an opportunity but his try from just outside the box was punched away by Al Shabab goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah Ali. But he made sure he was on target next time around.

In the 14th minute, playmaker Valdivia set it up for Emerson who drew the goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah Ali out and slotted it into an open goal.

Later, in the 23rd minute, Emerson sent a fine cross in and Valdivia headed it goalwards. Jose Sand, who was lurking nearby, pounced on the rebound and fired home.

Al Ain could have killed the contest if not for Al Shabab defender Sanad Ahmad Shrahilee.

Valdivia passed it to Emerson but the latter’s effort was cleared by Sanad Ahmad Shrahilee. Al Shabab had a few opportunities but Majed Saad Al Marhum’s shot went wide.

They scored in the first minute of added time when Abdulaziz Nasser Saran fired his shot home and the ball took a deflection off a defender and went in.

After the break, Emerson came up with a couple of chances but the Al Shabab goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah Ali denied Emerson.

Al Shabab almost got the equaliser but Al Ain goalkeeper Waleed Salem Sulaiman Surour Al Jaberi denied Abdulaziz Nasser Saran. They had another chance but the Al Ain goalkeeper punched away a shot from Marcelo Ramiro Commacho. Al Ain were down to 10 men for the last 20 minutes of the game as Valdivia was sent off for two bookings. Despite that, they held on to come away witha win.

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