Champions Al Ain crush Ajman in Adnoc Pro League

Rebrov’s side register their 20th win in 25 games to go 10 clear with one game remaining

Al Ain’s Togolese international Kodjo Laba is challenged by Ajman players (orange shirts) at the Rashid bin Saeed Stadium on Sunday, May 22, 2022. Photo: PLC
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Even with the Adnoc Pro League title already in the bag, Al Ain are not slowing down.

The league champions crushed Ajman 4-0 in the penultimate round of the league to take their tally to 64 points, 10 clear of Sharjah, at the Rashid bin Saeed Stadium on Sunday.

Soufiane Rahimi, Kodjo Laba, Ahmed Barman and Cristian Guanca got into the scorebook for Al Ain on the night.

“The players have shown amazing commitment to give their best and continue to win games for us even after we have already won the league,” Al Ain’s manager Serhiy Rebrov said.

“They were well organised against Ajman and nice to see them maintain the level of a champion team.

“Such performances are important and confidence booster for the players, particularly for the Emiratis, as most of them will be joining the national team’s preparation for the World Cup qualifying play-off.”

The UAE meet Australia next month in the qualifying play-off. The winners of that match progress to face Peru, the fifth-placed team in South American qualification, for a place at the Qatar World Cup.

On Sunday, Al Ain took an early lead when Rahimi met Guanca's cross from a corner with a clinical finish from the six-yard box on 14 minutes.

Laba doubled his side’s lead on the hour mark after making a nice move from the midfield, cutting inside the penalty area and beating Ajman's defence before sending the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.

Barman then picked up Laba's through pass inside the area, before tapping the ball into the back of the net in the 71st minute before Guanca rounded off the game from a rebound four minutes from time.

Also, Shabab Al Ahli rallied from a goal down to get the better of Baniyas 3-1 at the Rashid Stadium and Khor Fakkan defeated Kalba 3-2 in the other games on the night.

Updated: May 23, 2022, 6:23 AM