Fallatah’s double proves trouble for Al Ain
AL ITTIHAD 2 AL AIN 1
Al Ittihad - Fallatah 68’, 76’
Al Ain - Gyan 68’
Man of the Match - Mukhtar Fallatah (Al Ittihad)
Mukhtar Fallatah scored twice within seven minutes for Al Ittihad to come from behind and snatch a 2-1 win over Al Ain in the Asian Champions League Group C.
Asamoah Gyan had put the visitors ahead at half time before Fallatah’s double strike as Zlatko Dalic’s first game in charge of Al Ain ended in defeat Wednesday night at the King Abdulaziz Sports City in Mecca.
After a cautious start from both teams, Ittihad came closest to scoring when Fahad Al Muwallad’s close-range effort was saved by the Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Essa with his outstretched leg on the half hour.
That miss proved costly for the home side as Gyan struck at the other end. The Ghanaian forward slipped past a couple of defenders to head a flag kick from Mirel Radoi to put the visitors ahead.
Ittihad had a chance to cancel the lead from a penalty in added time of the first half. Fallatah’s spot kick, which he earned from the faintest of touches by Ismail Ahmed, the Al Ain centre-back, was pushed out by a diving Essa.
Al Ain missed on an opportunity to double the lead when Gyan was wide after being set up in front of the goal by Alex Brosque on a counter-attack.
Fallatah made up for his earlier lapse. He finished off an excellent move by tapping in a pass from Abdulafattah Asiri for the equalizer and then rose above the Al Ain defence to head a cross from the same player for the winner.
Mark Bridge scored at the 10-minute mark and Western Sydney revived their Asian Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over China’s Guizhou Renhe in Group H play.
With the win Western Sydney draws into a tie with Kawasaki Frontale at three points.
Kawasaki were 2-0 losers to South Korea’s Ulsan, who top the group at six points.
In Group G play Jeonbuk Motors and Guangzhou Evergrande remain tied at the top on four points as both drew matches.
South Korea’s Jeonbuk finished in a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory, and China’s Guangzhou and Japan’s Yokohama Marinos drew 1-1.
In Group D play Sepahan got goals from Ervin Bulku, Mehdi Sharifi and Xhevahir Sukaj to defeat Al Hilal 3-2 at home. Segundo Castillo and Thiago Neves scored for Al Hilal.
And in Group C play Lekhwiya drew 0-0 at home against Tractor Sazi.
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Published: March 12, 2014 04:00 AM