Advantage Al Duhail in Round of 16 vs Al Ain
This season’s QNB Stars League and Qatar Cup champions Al Duhail maintained their winning run in the AFC Champions League with a comfortable 4-2 away victory over Al Ain in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Tuesday.
Al Duhail started the game enthusiastically and stunned the home fans when Moroccan striker Youssef El Arabi, the top scorer in the QNB Stars League with 26 goals, struck in the 16th minute.
Al Ain goalkeeper Khaled Eisa did well to save El Arabi’s initial header, but the Al Duhail frontman pounced on the rebound and sent in a powerful effort past Mohamed Ahmed.
Nam Tae-Hee made it 2-0 for the Qatari side in the 39th with an outstanding solo effort. The South Korean playmaker beat Ahmed Barman near the halfway line before sprinting away from Mohammed Abdulrahman and getting the better of Eisa.
Al Duhail picked up from where they left off in the second half and Ismail Mohamed put his side further ahead in the 48th with a fine chip over Eisa after being set up by Nam.
Nam was involved in Al Duhail’s fourth goal just seven minutes later, threading a through ball for Almoez Ali, whose fierce low strike went in at the near post to give them a 4-0 cushion.
Al Ain’s fightback only gathered steam towards the last half hour, with two substitutes helping them reduce the deficit.
Former AFC Player of the Year Ahmed Khalil was the first, heading in from close range in the 68th. Ibrahim Diaky popped up in the six-yard area to slam home a rebound after Amine Lecomte parried Omar Abdulrahman’s free-kick in the 86th.
The return leg will be played in Doha on 15th May.