Omar the 'Boss' as Al Ain enter President's Cup semis

Omar the Boss as Al Ain enter Presidents Cup semis

Abu Dhabi - Skipper Omar Abdulrehman was the star performer for Al Ain. With score tied at 2-2 after normal time, Omar scored twice in extra-time to secure the semis dream for 'the Home of UAE Football'.



By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Thu 12 May 2016, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 13 May 2016, 4:20 PM

Al Ain found redemption with their 4-2 extra-time victory over Al Wasl in the President's Cup quarter-final at the Al Jazira's Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Thursday night.
However, the 'Boss' trying to salvage pride after being dethroned by Al Ahli as Arabian League Champion were tested till the last minute by the 'Cheetahs', who were on the offensive from the first minute till the last of the extra-time.
Skipper Omar Abdulrehman was the star performer for Al Ain. With score tied at 2-2 after normal time, Omar scored twice in extra-time to secure the semis dream for 'the Home of UAE Football'.
At stake was the semis slot and the 'Boss' and the 'Cheetahs' went all out to grab it and give their fans a reason to continue dreaming of a shield.
In a match that was a mix of physical and tactical plays, Al Ain drew the first blood thanks to a Dyanfres Douglas stunner in the 40th minute.
It was against the run of play that Al Ain converted through the left flank with a Mohanad Salem cross that was fired in by Douglas.
At the start of the second half, Al Wasl drew level through a 48th minute Ali Salmeen shot which got deflected through Al Ain's Fellipe Bastos into the goal.
Tempers were flaring high and chances were getting wasted at both the ends. It was in the 68th minute that Douglas converted a Danilo Asprilla pass. The Colombian found his way through two defenders to set a perfect pass for the Brazilian to net.
With score at 2-1 and with minutes to go to the final whistle, the 'Cheetahs' pressed more men forward and saw Caio Canedo hit a scorcher to level the score to make it 2-2. Enter extra-time.
In a game of fluctuating fortunes for both the teams, Omar converted a penalty in the 93rd minute of extra-time. Al Wasl's Hassan Zahran was guilty when he blocked an Asprilla tackle and tried to shrug the ball away with his hand. And then, Omar went on to win the match all by himself from a corner. The 97th minute curling corner sneaked in through Al Wasl goalkeeper Rashed Ali and securing a 4-2 margin for the 'Boss'. 
The match was filled with brilliant moves, intense clashes and skirmishes. Just at the final whistle, Hugo Viana and Danilo Asprilla engaged in a tiff that needed the involvement of all officials.
Playmaker Omar created chances and with Danilo Asprilla in toe tested Al Wasl defence. The 'Boss' had more attacks from the right flank with Omar and Asprilla being involved in niche plays.
Asprilla ran to both right and left flanks creating bulk of the chances.
There were couple of occasion when the Abdulrehman brothers -
Omar and Mohammed - were engaged in smart moves that had crowd going wild.
The battle started off with Al Wasl's Hassan Ameen driving a shot at goal in the second minute. The high tempo match saw referee Yaqoub Qasem handing two yellow cards in the first three minutes two Al Wasl players - Ali Salmeen and Salem Abdullah. That slowed the fierce start to the play.
In an incident-filled first corner, Fellipe Bastos took the corner which saw Ismail Ahmed trying to head in and goalkeeper Yousef Abdulla taking a tumble and pulling his hamstring. Abdulla was taken out on a stretcher and Rashed Ali replaced him.
Fayez escaped with a warning when he blocked a bisecting run by Caio Canedo in the 26th minute. It did result in a free kick which Fabio Di Lima all but converted for Khalid Eissa's brilliant save.
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com 


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