Moroccan striker Abderrazzaq Hamedallah scored one and set up the other as El Jaish handed Al Ain a 2-1 defeat in Group D of the AFC Champions League yesterday as the inaugural champions fell to a second consecutive loss.
Al Ain dominated the opening 45 minutes, but a goal four minutes into the second half from the former Guangzhou R&F forward and a second by Yassir Isa with 11 minutes remaining ensured El Jaish defeated the 2003 champions for the second time in the space of eight days.
Saeed al-Katheeri’s 86th minute header proved to be little more than a consolation for Al Ain, who have yet to pick up a point in their 2016 continental championship campaign.
After the disappointment of last week, it was Al Ain who were on top throughout the first period, dominating possession and racking up chance after chance.
Mohamed Abdulrahman fired over the bar in the 20th minute after Mohamed Ahmed’s lay-off and, seven minutes later, Mohamed Abdulrahman was involved again, this time calling El Jaish goalkeeper Khalifa Ababacar into action with an effort from the tightest of angles.
Soon after Mohamed Abdulrahman turned provider, clipping the ball into the path of the onrushing Douglas, but he squandered the chance when he fired high over the bar.
Al Ain’s best opportunity of the half came 32 minutes into the game when Omar Abdulrahman’s corner to the far post was headed back across goal by Mohanad Salem to Fellipe Bastos, only for the Brazilian to send his header the wrong side of the post.
The visitors continued to push forward, with Omar Abdulrahman releasing Lee Myung-joo into the area, only for the South Korean to shoot across the face of goal, with Douglas narrowly mistiming his slide towards the ball at the far pot.
But within four minutes of the restart, Al Ain had been flattened by Hamedallah’s sucker punch as the Moroccan hit the former champions on the break, forcing the defence to backpedal as he ran from deep before striking his right foot shot across Khaled Eisa and into the bottom corner.
Mohamed Abdulrahman’s poor finishing continued to cost Al Ain at the other end as the forward curled his low effort just wide of the goal soon after the hour mark, while Douglas’ 70th minute header was straight at goalkeeper Ababacar. With 11 minutes to go, El Jaish killed off the game thanks, once again, to their ruthlessness on the counterattack as Hamedallah turned provider, playing a killer pass through to Isa who skipped past the Al Ain goalkeeper before slotting the ball into the unguarded net. Al Katheeri gave Al Ain a glimmer of hope with four minutes remaining when he headed in from eight yards out, but it was not enough to spark a late revival and El Jaish took all three points.
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