Magical Asamoah Gyan goal steers Al Ain to Asian Champions League semis
Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan scored a magical goal to steer Al Ain to the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League on Tuesday night.
The competition’s runaway top scorer netted his 12th of the 2014 Champions League to help Al Ain battle from behind to wrap up a 5-1 aggregate win and set up a last-four clash against Al Hilal.
The Black Stars captain scored for the UAE giants, who proved too good against the Saudi Arabian side, in the holy city of Mecca to finish off the tie.
Following a 2-0 defeat in the first leg – when Gyan was again on target – home side Al Ittihad needed to score first to have any hope of turning the tie around and did so courtesy of Ismail Ahmed’s own goal after 36 minutes.
But Gyan drew the sides level four minutes later with a crucial away goal before Omar Abdulrahman and Diaky Ibrahim struck in the second half as Al Ain cruised to victory.
Gyan, who is Africa and Al Ain’s highest paid footballer, scored the equalizer for the Boss just five minutes after going behind.
Any hopes of an Al Ittihad comeback were quickly extinguished as the Ghana international Gyan produced a moment of magic.
Gyan controlled a lofted Miroslav Stoch ball, allowed the ball to bounce and then unleashed an unstoppable volley to make it five goals in his last four Champions League outings.
Al Ain had gone behind in the 35thminute through an own goal by defender Ismail Ahmed.
Ahmed in his attempt to clear a powerful driven cross tapped into his own net to give the home side hope they could turn the tie around.
But Gyan emerged five minute later to snuff out their faint hopes by hitting his 12th of the Champions League campaign.
Al Ain came out fighting early in the second half and jumped into a lead through Omar Abdulrahman in a move involving Asamoah Gyan in the 66th minute to effectively kill off the tie.
The ex Sunderland man failed to challenge for an aerial ball – rather choosing to use his body as a screen to block off a defender to allow Abdulrahman in behind to slot in.
Zlatko Dalic then decided to pullout Gyan with the job done on the 77th minute bringing on Helal Saeed as a replacement for the Ghana striker.
Al Ain were however not done yet as Ibrahim Diaky scored the third seven minutes from time after some fine work by Miroslav Stoch.
The Slovakian had received yet another ball over the top and could have scored himself but then chose to slow down and wait before putting it on the plate for the incoming Diaky to finish.
Al Ain will now face Al Hilal who grinded out a 0-0 draw with Al Sadd earlier on Tuesday in the semi finals of this season’s Asian Champions League.