Diaky's late strike helps Al Ain salvage draw against Al Nasr

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Diakys late strike helps Al Ain salvage draw against Al Nasr
Skipper Ibrahim Diaky scored Al Ain's equaliser.

Dubai - 'The Boss' were a goal down, their hold on the League title slowly slipping away from their grasp.

By James Jose

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Published: Tue 12 Apr 2016, 8:47 PM

It could have been much worse for the defending champions but Al Ain fought it out to salvage a draw against 10-man Al Nasr in the Arabian Gulf League on Sunday night.
'The Boss' were a goal down, their hold on the League title slowly slipping away from their grasp. But Al Ain benefited from the numerical advantage after Al Nasr were a man down, to eke out a 1-1 draw at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
Captain Ibrahim Diaky, who had come on six minutes after the game had passed the hour, managed to cancel out Masoud Sulaiman Ahmed's header.
But Al Ain's second draw and their first one at their fortress, has made it tougher for the record League champions. It opened up a three-point gap against leaders Al Ahli, who defeated Al Jazira 2-1, 153.8km away in the UAE Capital, earlier in the evening.
Meanwhile, a victory would have moved Al Nasr to fourth but their sixth stalemate and fourth on the road left them in fifth with 34 points, a point behind Al Wasl.
Al Nasr would reflect what may have been had Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Eisa not stopped Jires Kembo-Ekoko's penalty on the hour.
After Al Ahli's victory, Al Ain knew what they had to do but they ran into a tough Al Nasr side, who stood up quite adroitly to the challenge. Both teams were a bit weary after coming off their respective AFC Champions League encounters midweek.
But Al Nasr came out of the blocks with the first foray just three minutes into the game. Jires Kembo-Ekoko, formerly with Al Ain, had a crack at goal but couldn't make it count. Al Ain slowly found their feet and thought they had gone ahead on 22 minutes but it was ruled out after a skirmish in the goalmouth. Mohammed Abdulrahman's effort hit the woodwork and Lee Myung Joo slipped in the rebound.


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