16 May 2018 - 10:06
Ruthless Al Duhail thrash UAE’s Al Ain
By Chinthana Wasala I The Peninsula
DOHA: Youssef El Arabi yesterday scored twice to take his overall tally to nine goals in this season’s AFC Champions League as Qatari giants Al Duhail stormed into the quarter-finals of the continent’s biggest football event for clubs.
Hosts Al Duhail yesterday maintained their unbeaten streak with a brilliant 4-1 win over UAE’s Al Ain to join Al Sadd as the second Qatar club to reach the last-eight stage of the AFC Champions League.
At the Abudullah Bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha yesterday, a double from El Arabi (30 and 86, penalty) and a goal from Ismail Mohammad (54) helped coach Djamel Belmadi’s men advance with a clear 8-3 aggregate. Al Duhail’s fourth strike was an own goal by Al Ain’s Mohamed Ahmad (12).
Omar Abdulrahman scored the only goal for the visitors after converting a penalty (90 +4).
Yesterday’s double strike saw El Arabi join Al Sadd’s Bhagdad Bounedjah as the top scorers of Asia’s premier football tournament this year. Both have found the net nine times each.
Yesterday’s win also saw Al Duhail remaining the only unbeaten team in this year’s AFC Champions League.
Al Duhail’s first goal came at a time when the home team was pressing hard for an early breakthrough.
Just after the kick-off, El Arabi won a free kick on the left wing but South Korean star and team-mate Tae-hee missed the target with a shot to the right.
In the third minute, Amine Lecomte won Al Duhail’s second free kick in the defensive half but it was Tae-Hee who drew the first blood.
Tae-hee dribbled from the left wing and managed to evade several Al Ain players and shot from the left corner of the box into the net. Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Eisa missed and the ball was on its way into the net before Ahmad tried to change the ball’s direction with a diving kick. However, Ahmed failed to make amends as Al Duhail scored their first goal through an own goal.
In the 30th minute, Tae-hee produced his first shot at the goal from outside the box, but an Al Ahli player blocked the shot. Mohamed picked it on the rebound and made a long cross to El Arabi who was perfectly placed near the goalpost. El Arabi made no mistake as he beat the goalkeeper as he celebrated his eighth goal of the season with his signature ‘pulling-the-trigger’ pose.
Mohamed almost added another goal for the Al Duhail during injury time of the first half, but the ball slipped past the right side of the goalpost.
In the 54th minute, Sultan Al Brake shot from outside the box but Al Ain’s Eisa managed to get his hands on it inside the box. However, his effort made no impact as Mohammad managed to shoot into the net from very close range to the high centre of the goal to make it 3-0 in favour of the home team.
El Arabi scored his second goal of the day by converting a penalty.
Al Ain’s Mohanad Salem Ghazy was shown the yellow card for a hand ball infringement in the penalty area and El Arabi beat the goalkeeper with ease to take the goal aggregate to 8-2.
He Almost scored a hat-trick five minutes later when he shot from the centre of the box after receiving a cross from Mohammad following a fast break, but the ball flew close to the Al Ain goalpost.