Al Duhail blank Al Ain in AFC Champions League


Qatar’s Al Duhail registered an impressive 2-0 away win at Al Ain in the fourth round of 2019 AFC Champions League Group C on Tuesday.

Almoez Ali took Al Duhail ahead by scoring as early as the third minute and his strike partner Yousef El Arabi doubled the lead in the 66th minute as The Red Knights had the last laugh at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain. Al Duhail are now second in the group with seven points, behind Al Hilal (nine points).

Al Ain had been without a win in their previous three encounters against Al Duhail, having lost both legs in the 2018 Round of 16 and snatched a 2-2 draw in the third round in Doha two weeks ago.

The visitors opened the scoring after just three minutes through Almoez Ali. Edmilson collected Ali’s pass and advanced down the right, dribbling past his marker and crossing back to the Qatar international, whose diving header nestled into the back of Khaled Eisa’s net.

Al Ain quickly regrouped and tried to get back into the game. Bandar Al Ahbabi sent his free-kick just over the crossbar and Ahmed Barman shot wide all inside the opening 20 minutes.

Edmilson exchanged passes with El Arabi before shooting from distance, but his strike was held by Eisa as the first half ended with a one-goal advantage for the away side.

Rui Faria’s men doubled their lead in style in the 66th minute. The ball reached Ali down the left wing and the striker evaded a defender and squared it across the mouth of goal for Shoya Nakajima. The Japanese international intelligently stepped over the ball, pulling two defenders away from El Arabi who had all the time in the world to apply the finish for his third goal of the campaign.

Al Duhail played pragmatically after their second goal and relied on the counter-attack as they eased to their second win in the tournament.