Bril­liant Omar fires Al Ain into last eight

New Straits Times - - Sport -

Asian player of the year Omar Ab­dul­rah­man scored a bril­liant dou­ble as Al Ain thrashed Estegh­lal 6-1 on Mon­day to storm into the AFC Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter-fi­nals.

The brace by “Amoory” — matched by two sublime strikes from Brazil’s Caio — over­turned last week’s 1-0 de­feat and pow­ered last year’s runners-up to a 6-2 ag­gre­gate vic­tory.

Else­where, in an all-Al Ahli derby, Saudi Ara­bia’s Al Ahli beat their UAE name­sakes 3-1 for a 4-2 ag­gre­gate win in Dubai.

Al Ain needed goals against Iran’s Estegh­lal and Caio duly obliged in the 27th and 33rd min­utes when he smashed home a vol­ley and then coolly chipped the goal­keeper for his sec­ond.

Omar’s first goal, shortly af­ter half-time, was all endeavour and tech­nique as he chased a loose ball be­yond the far post and, meet­ing it at full stretch, turned it in from a tight an­gle.

Lee Myeong Ju belted Al Ain’s fourth be­fore Omar charged at a back­track­ing de­fence and placed his shot past be­seiged Estegh­lal goal­keeper Me­hdi Rah­mati.

Saudi striker Nasser Al Sham­rani got Al Ain’s sixth on the break be­fore Estegh­lal bagged a late con­so­la­tion when Ke­vah Rezaei’s free kick trick­led into the goal.

In Dubai, an Al Ahli side was al­ways go­ing to be the win­ner — and loser — in an un­usual clash be­tween two teams with the same name.

Saudi’s Al Ahli also needed to score af­ter last week’s 1-1 draw at home, and they led af­ter 18 min­utes through Taiseer Al Jas­sam’s sharp back-post fin­ish from a cor­ner.

Hus­sain Al Mo­gahwi ham­mered the visi­tors’ sec­ond into the top cor­ner six min­utes later, and the hosts’ hopes fur­ther re­ceded when top-scorer Makhete Diop was sent off near the hour­mark.

Saad Ab­du­lameer grabbed the Saudi side’s third from the spot with 18 min­utes left, mean­ing Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan’s in­jury-time penalty was aca­demic.

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