Amoory forgets Gulf Cup woes with Al Ain
Boss up to first place
Al Ain stamped themselves as frontrunners for this year’s Arabian Gulf League in a vintage performance by breezing past Al Wasl last night at Zabeel Stadium, despite playing the entire second half with only ten men.
Defender Mohnad Salem was shown a straight red on the stroke of half-time, however The Boss hardly missed a beat with second -half goals from captain Omar Abdulrahman and debutant Husain El Shahat adding to Ismaeel Ahmed’s opener.
Caio Canedo pulled a goal back for Al Wasl late on.
It was a spiteful affair with no less than 10 players going into the referee’s notebook. The Cheetahs also finished the game a man short with midfielder Ronaldo Mendes booked for a second time on 86 minutes.
The teams headed into the match tied on top of the AGL table on 25 points.
Al Wasl started the stronger but against the run of play on 27 minutes The Boss took the lead with Ahmed nodding in a perfectly crossed free-kick from Amoory, who wiped away the memory of two missed penalties in the Arabian Gulf Cup decider against Oman with a superb individual performance.
The Cheetahs then applied the pressure as they pushed for an equaliser before half time with Tsukasa Shiotani and Khalid Eissa booked before Salem was given his marching orders. Mendes also picked up his first booking in a furious end to the first stanza.
Needing a spark, Cheetahs coach Rodolfo Arruabarrena went to the bench early in the second period bringing Australian midfielder Anthony Caceres on for Humaid Abbas on 58 minutes.
Once again Al Wasl ramped up the pressure, resulting in Caio FernA andes and Amoory having their names taken by referee Yaqoub Qasem, but despite the weight of possession the Cheetahs could not find the final pass.
The Boss then took control on 71 minutes with another superb Amoory set piece. This time he needed no help, curving a delightfully struck left-footer from just outside the box past the outstretched hands of Sultan al Manthari and into the top right hand corner.
The Cheetahs again tried to respond, but in throwing men forward they left themselves open to the counter-attack and again it was Amoory who made them pay.
The Boss skipper picked up the ball just outside his box before finding substitute Bandar Al Ahbabi, on for Fernandes, who set off on a searing run towards the Al Wasl goal.
Surrounded by two defenders on the edge of the box he crossed to El Shahat, whose first touch took him into the area before getting a deft toe over the onrushing al Manthari, sending the large contingent of Boss faithful in the Stadium into rapture.
It got worse for the Cheetahs four minutes from time as Mendes was shown a red before Correa added some respectability making it 3-1 in added time.
The win takes Al Ain to the top of the table with Al Wahda’s 3-1 defeat of Dibba earlier yesterday seeing them move into second with Al Wasl now third.
Dominant: After a scratchy campaign with the UAE in the Gulf Cup, Almoory was back to his best against Al Wasl.