Al Ain fail to clear Al Duhail test in AFC Champions League
Al Ain couldn't overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit against Al Duhail and crashed out of the AFC Champions League at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha on Tuesday night.
In a Round 16 second-leg match, Al Duhail beat Al Ain 4-1 (8-3 on aggregate) to extend their winning run in the tournament to eight straight games and importantly enter the quarterfinals.
Al Duhail dominated the early proceedings. Nam Tae-hee, the chief tormentor and Al Duhail's goal-scorer in the first leg, came close with a third-minute direct-kick on goal.
The home side continued to press forward and got rewarded in the 12th minute. Nam darted through the left and dribbled past Al Ain mid-fielder Ahmed Barman to shoot into the goal. Unfortunately for Al Ain, defender Mohamed Ahmad's lunge to stop the ball resulted in an own goal.
Al Ain now needed four goals to qualify and the pair that had delivered this season - Caio Fernandes and Marcus Berg - were both absent.
However in the 15 minute, Al Ain could have pulled one back through Ahmed Khalil's header but the Duhail keeper Amine Lecomte kept it out.
Despite a goal advantage, Al Duhail kept searching for more through Youssef El Arabi, Ismail Mohammad and Almoez Ali. Al Ain responded with slick play by Omar Abdulrahman and Hussein El Shahat. It was a beautifully poised match albeit any goal for Al Ain.
However, Al Duhail piled more misery by slapping one more goal as El Arabi scored from inside the box. There were 60 minutes to the final hooter and Al Ain were down 2-6 on aggregate.
However, the 'Boss' came out strongly after the break as El Shahat, Omar and Mohammed Abdulrahman went all out, youngster Rayan Yslam kept defenders busy and Ahmed Khalil had some close calls.
At the other end, Al Duhail made it 3-0 game in the 54th minute. Sultan Al Brake chip from outside the box was saved by keeper Khalid Eisa but Ismail Mohammad scored on the rebound.
Al Ain didn't lose hope and in the 63rd minute they came close as Omar's curling shot struck the right post. There were some six attempts in nine minutes but it was one of those outings when things didn't go according to plan for the Abu Dhabi club.
Worsening matters, Al Ain conceded a penalty as Mohanad Salem handled substitute Bassam Husham's goal-bound shot inside the box. El-Arabi converted the spot kick to bag his second and Al Duhail's fourth of the night.
Finally, there was some solace for the visitors in additional time. Omar was felled inside the box and Al Ain got rewarded with a penalty. 'Amoory' blasted into the centre of the goal to bag a consolidation goal and end a forgettable night for the Garden City club.