For the second season running, a UAE club will contest the final of the AFC Champions League, after Al Ain’s last gasp 2-2 draw with Qatar’s El Jaish on Wednesday saw them claim a 5-3 semi-final aggregate win.
Once again, the continent’s premier club competition is tantalizingly close for the team qualifying from the AFC Western Zone. Once again an Eastern powerhouse stands in the way.
Al Ain will now face Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in next month’s two-legged final after they beat fellow South Korean club FC Seoul Wednesday night.
Last year, Al Ahli fell short against Guangzhou Evergrande of China. Al Ain, the only Emirati club to win the competition back in 2003 when they beat Thailand’s BEC Tero Sasana, will never have a better chance to become kings of Asia again.
Despite suffering a few anxious moments on Tuesday night as El Jaish threatened to score a goal that would have taken the tie into extra time, Al Ain showed maturity and confidence to ultimately seal the tie with a last-minute strike of their own.
Amoory leading glory charge
UAE's Al-Ain players (1st row-top-LtoR) Fawzi Fayez; Danilo Moreno; Ismail Ahmed; Mohnad Salem; Ahmed Barman; Myung Joo Lee (2nd row-bottom-LtoR) Omar Abdulrahman; Ismail Ahmed; Khalid Eisa; Amer Abdulrahman and Caio pose for a picture before the Asian Champions League football return match between Qatar's El-Jaish and UAE's Al-Ain on October 18, 2016 at the Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha. (AFP)