Asamoah Gyan’s brilliance carries Al Ain to Asian Champions League knockouts
Al Ain booked their passage to the Asian Champions League round of 16 after handing Lekhwiya of Qatar a 5-0 drubbing on Tuesday night at the Abdullah bin Khalifa stadium with striker Asamoah Gyan the star man.
Ibrahim Diaky opened the scoring and Alex Brosque doubled the lead before half time. Mohammed Abdulrahman struck a third for the visitors before Asamoah Gyan, who had a hand in each of the first three goals, rounded off with a double.
The result took Al Ain’s tally to 10 points and consolidated their lead at the top of Group C with a game left against Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
Zlatko Dalic, the Al Ain coach, was naturally delighted with his team’s “excellent” performance.
“To win a champions league match 5-0 is a real class act by any team,” the Croatian said.
Lekhwiya started well and were unlucky not to have scored first. Khalid Essa, the Al Ain goalkeeper, made an excellent save and then the home side saw the ball crash against the crossbar twice in the first six minutes.
Claude Amin, the Lekhwiya keeper, also made an excellent save when he battered away a header from Ismail Ahmed off a corner before the visitors had opened their account.
The first came when Amin blocked Gyan’s shot from inside the box and Diaky put away the follow through. Brosque then took a first time shot on a low pass from Gyan to catch the keeper on the wrong foot.
Abdulrahman made it three when substitute Kingambo Tresor failed to control a Gyan cross in front of the net.
Gyan then rounded off an excellent Al Ain performance with his double – the first after rounding Tresor then he picked up a through pass and drew Amin out of position to complete the rout.