Another day at the office for Al Ain

Another week. Another regular day at the office. Defending champions Al Ain can only beat themselves to a record 11th title after conjuring yet another stellar show in the Etisalat UAE Pro-League.

By James Jose

Published: Sat 16 Feb 2013, 12:44 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:50 AM

The runaway leaders blanked Al Dhafrah 3-0 at the Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Stadium on Thursday to maintain their cushion over the chasing pack.

Goals from Ismail Ahmed (14th), Ali Al Wehaibi (43rd) and Alex Brosque (77th) gave them a well-deserved win.

Al Ain were leading 2-0 at the break. — KT file

Al Ain went ahead in the 14th minute of the game through Ismail Ahmed. Ismail Ahmed popped up to send his crisp header home off a corner.

It was pretty much a midfield battle thereafter right until the 25th minute with Al Ain having a sneak peek at the goal on a couple of occasions.

UAE star Omar Abdulrahman then set up a flurry of chances in a frantic five minutes heading into the half hour.

Jires Kembo Ekoko lashed his shot over the cross bar after low Omar freekick in the 25th minute. Later, in the 29th minute, Omar’s foray into the box was cut short by Al Dhafrah defender Anas Bani Yaseen.

A minute later, Al Ain had their best chance to double the lead but an off-balance Ekoko fired wide. Omar darted down the right and squared it up perfectly for Ekoko. But Ekoko struggled to find his balance as he was surrounded by defenders and sent his shot wide of the left post.

Al Ain came close again on 33 minutes with Ali Al Wehaibi making a dangerous move from the right and passing it to Ekoko. But Ekoko shot was punched away by the goalkeeper.

Al Ain deservedly found the second through Ali Al Wehaibi with two minutes left in the first half.

Ekoko’s scorcher hit the cross bar and came back into play. Ali Al Wehaibi, who was lurking in front of the goal mouth, chested it down and slotted it with ease.

Al Ain unleashed more firepower in the form of Asamoah Gyan, who was playing his first game after returning from the African Cup of Nations. Gyan came on for Ali Al Wehaibi in the 70th minute.

Al Dhafrah had an opportunity in the 74th minute but Amara Diane’s header, off a corner, went wide of the post.

Al Ain put the game to bed with the third in the 77th minute through their Australian forward Alez Brosque. After a move from the left, Ekoko fed a neat pass to Brosque, who fired his left-footer home.

Al Ain could have finished up with more had Gyan not missed a couple of chances in the 80th minute with the goalkeeper denying him on both occasions.

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