Football: Al Ain tame El Jaish to enter AFC Champions League final

Football: Al Ain tame El Jaish to enter AFC Champions League final
Action from match between Al Ain and El Jaish.

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 18 Oct 2016, 9:59 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 Oct 2016, 12:08 AM

Al Ain FC marched into the AFC Champions League final despite a 2-2 draw against Qatar side El Jaish in the second leg of the semifinals at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha on Tuesday night.
Al Ain had won the first leg 3-1 at home and booked their ticket to the finals with an aggregate 5-3 advantage.
It was yet another match filled with 'Amoory' magic. Al Ain skipper Omar Abdulrahman converted in the 57th minute with a class goal. Exactly 10 minutes later, El Jaish's Brazilian forward Romarinho Ricardo levelled. In the 81st minute the El Jaish striker doubled the score to make an intriguing finish to the match. And just when the Qatari club were threatening to score, Al Ain substitute Mohamed Abdulrahman made it level. 'Ainawi' and the UAE heaved a sigh of relief.
It was a night when Al Ain coach Zlatko Dalic made some crucial changes and came good on all. He started with midfielder Amer Abdulrahman and benched striker Dyanfres Douglas. He later replaced midfielder Danilo Asprilla with Mohamed Abdulrahman.
It was a good team game for Al Ain. Omar kept pulling out passes with ease and Amer Abdulrahman produced some good plays. Both the players fed Danilo Asprilla with perfect passes and the Colombian connected well on most of them.
Qatari players were fiery and enraged Omar Abdulrahman throughout. Tempers flared when 'Amoory' went down and was dragged by a Qatari player. In the ensuing melee, Qatar player Saoud Al Khather, who wasn't even playing earned a yellow card.
The only saving grace for Qatar was an improved performance by keeper Khalifa Ababacar. In the 34th minute, he kept out a goal bound shot from Asprilla and minutes later a smart chip by Amer. The Qatari keeper had a horrendous first leg with fumbles turning into goals.
El Jaish's Romarinho Ricardo and Uzbek star Sardor Rashidov were a constant worry but Al Ain back four - Ismail Ahmed, Mohammed Fayez, Fawzi Fayez, Mohnad Salem - were a double-decker bus in front of goal.It was goalless in first half but the second 45 turned a difficult time for the Al Ain defence as they turned rusty.
The manner in which goals were conceded will worry Dalic. It was a game that could have gone either way but luck favoured the brave in Doha. Mission accomplished for Al Ain and they will know their opponents when Korean sides FC Seoul-Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors clash on Wednesday.

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