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Champions Al Ain began defence of AGL crown with win as Al Wahda hit Kalba for six

Al Ain beat Emirates Club 3-1 as Al Wahda smash Ittihad Kalba 6-2 despite seeing a man sent off

Matt Jones 2018/08/31

Champions Al Ain began the defence of their Arabian Gulf League crown with a routine 3-1 win at Emirates Club.

Egypt schemer Hussein EL Shahat got the ball rolling in just the second minute for Zoran Mamic’s side, Caio’s free-kick found Marcus Berg inside the box and when his shot was deflected, El Shahat’s low strike crept past goalkeeper Ahmad Al Shaji to put the away side in front.

The Falcons leveled in the 18th minute, as Bakary Kone’s accurate long through ball found Bernie Ibini Isei in space, who unleashed a powerful low shot from the edge of the box to beat Khalid Essa.

Al Ain responded quickly, with El Shahat turning from scorer to creator as he crossed for Berg, whose excellent header restored the Boss’ lead.

Berg won a penalty in the 37th minute after VAR was consulted, but after he scored the rebound following Al Shaji’s brilliant save, the spot kick was ordered to be retaken after the Swede caught the keeper accidentally with a boot. Al Shaji stood tall though and saved brilliantly again.

The hosts missed two glorious chances to equalise after the break as they twice hit the post, and less than a minute later the Boss claimed the points when Caio calmly converted El Shahat’s pass past Al Shaji.

Marcus Berg scored but missed two penalties as Al Ain beat Emirates Club 3-1.

Al Wahda got their campaign off to a fine start as they smashed promoted Ittihad Kalba 6-2 at Zayed Sports City Stadium.

It took the newly crowned Arabian Gulf Super Cup champions just nine minutes to kick-start their season, Tariq Ahmed opening the scoring.

Against the run of play, Kalba’s Yaqoub Al Baloushi bundled the ball home in the 15th minute to level.

South Korea defender Rim Chang-woo restored the hosts’ lead with a rifled a shot into the bottom corner just before the break.

Hamdan Al Kamali tapped in to make it 3-2 shortly after, but Kalba fought back again through Yaqoub Al Baloushi’s header.

Sultan Al Ghaferi’s second yellow card and subsequent red gave the new boys further hope in the 67th minute, but rather than hamper the hosts, they killed the game off with three late goals.

An own goal from Hamad Al Hammadi made it 4-2 before summer signing Yahya Al Ghassani and veteran marksman Sebastian Tagliabue gave the Clarets an emphatic victory.

In the other match from Friday, 10-man Bani Yas earned a 1-1 draw at Fujairah.

Both sides were promoted from the First Division League and the Wolves were given a huge advantage when Faisal Al Antali was sent off for a challenge on Humaid Ahmed in just the 17th minute.

Just three minutes later, Mohamed Benyettou’s curled strike gave his side the lead.

Pedro Conde earned a point for the visitors just after the hour mark, the Spaniard’s first touch put him through on goal before he found the bottom corner.

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AGL Al Ain Al Wahda Bani Yas Emirates Club FUJAIRAH Ittihad Kalba