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Al Ain take AFC advantage over Saudis

AFP

Saudi's Al-Ittihad midfielder Samba Diakite (C) controls the ball ahead of UAE's Al-Ain midfielder Ahmed Barman (R) and Miroslav Stoch (L) during their AFC Champions League football match on August 19, 2014 at the Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed StadiumSaudi's Al-Ittihad midfielder Samba Diakite (C) controls the ball ahead of UAE's Al-Ain midfielder Ahmed Barman (R) and Miroslav Stoch (L) during their AFC Champions League football match on August 19, 2014 at the Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Saudi's Al-Ittihad midfielder Samba Diakite (C) controls the ball ahead of UAE's Al-Ain midfielder Ahmed Barman (R) and Miroslav Stoch (L) during their AFC Champions League football match on August 19, 2014 at the Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed StadiumSaudi's Al-Ittihad midfielder Samba Diakite (C) controls the ball ahead of UAE's Al-Ain midfielder Ahmed Barman (R) and Miroslav Stoch (L) during their AFC Champions League football match on August 19, 2014 at the Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium

Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates have one foot in the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League after a convincing 2-0 victory over Saudi Arabian giants Al Ittihad.

Ismail Ahmed and Asamoah Gyan scored in the second half of their quarter-final first leg in front of a capacity crowd at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.

The match produced some excellent football despite the hot and humid weather in the Emirates' Garden City.

The two former Asian champions had clashed twice in the group stages with Al Ittihad winning one and the second match ending in a draw.

But Al Ain were clearly motivated by thousands of cheering home fans as they dominated the game throughout and emerged deserving winners.

Ahmed broke the deadlock with a volley from inside the box in the 48th minute and Ghanaian Gyan, the lynchpin of the side in the group stages, grabbed the second in the 61st minute.

Gyan's goal was his 11th in the tournament, comfortably ahead of Saudi striker Nasser al-Shamrani, with seven.

Date created : 2014-08-19