Asamoah who? Emmanuel Emenike continues Al Ain’s perfect start to the post-Gyan era

The Nigerian took his tally for his new side to four goals in three competitive matches – an auspicious start for the man tasked with replacing the departed Asamoah Gyan.

Emmanuel Emenike of Al Ain celebrates in his unique style after scoring the first goal against Al Wasl. Ashraf Al Amra / Al Ittihad
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Al Wasl 0-2 Al Ain

Emenike 47, 64

Man of the match Omar Abdulrahman (Al Ain)

DUBAI // Al Ain maintained a 100 per cent start to their Arabian Gulf League defence with a 2-0 victory against Al Wasl on Sunday night.

The champions, fielding their three new foreign signings for the first time in the league this season, took the spoils at the Zabeel Stadium courtesy of a second-half double from Emmanuel Emenike.

Wasteful in the opening 45 minutes – Ryan Babel, the former Liverpool forward, was particularly culpable – Al Ain made their superiority count immediately after the break.

Omar Abdulrahman, who dictated the tie’s tempo throughout, sent clear Mohammed Ahmed with an excellent defence-splitting ball in the 47th minute, leaving the right-back to square for the onrushing Emenike to tap home.

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The Nigerian, recruited this summer on a season-long loan from Turkey’s Fenerbahce, doubled Al Ain’s advantage on 64 minutes, when he rolled his marker on the edge of the Wasl area and drilled an unstoppable shot past Rashid Ali, the hosts goalkeeper.

In doing so, Emenike took his tally for his new side to four goals in three competitive matches – an auspicious start for the man tasked with replacing the departed Asamoah Gyan. Emenike was himself replaced eight minutes from time to a rousing reception.

The victory means Al Ain have six points from a possible six, having opened the season last month with a 3-1 win at home to Al Dhafra.

Meanwhile, in Sharjah, goals from Jefferson Farfan and Ahmed Al Attas helped Al Jazira to a 2-1away win. Maicosuel pulled one goal back for Sharjah 10 minutes from time.

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