Home » ACL News - Group F, Match Day 6

ACL Group F – Al Ain 3 – 1 Nagoya Grampus

12 May 2011 One Comment

Inaugural champions Al Ain signed off their 2011 AFC Champions League campaign with a 3-1 win over Japan’s Nagoya Grampus, a result ended the visitors’ hopes of topping Group F.

With Grampus and Seoul FC level on 10 points before the game, the Japanese were keen to win and seal a home tie in the last 16 after the Koreans could only draw at Hangzhou Greentown.

But a young Al Ain side led 2-0 at the break and then completed a fine 3-1 win to lift their struggling form and morale ahead of some crucial games in the UAE Pro League.

It was Grampus who attacked first as Makito Yoshida shot too high early in the game.

The Japanese had another chance before Al Ain settled down and this time Yoshizumi Ogawa played a one-two with Kensuke Nagai but lifted his final effort over the bar.

After Genta Matsuo then failed to utilise a good chance when Ogawa found him on the right but his first-time shot flew across the goalmouth.

In the 21st minute, it was Al Ain who drew first blood and the goal came from a classy move.

Bandar Al Ahbabi found Ibrahima Keita with a forward pass and the Cote d’Ivoire player helped it forward to the advancing Al Ahbabi. He then found Hamad Al Merri who volleyed into the far corner from outside the box giving the keeper no chance.

Grampus midfielder Koji Hashimoto could have done better in the 24th minute but he shot wide and 11 minutes, later the visitors missed again when Ogawa beat Dawood Sulaiman to the ball but his header was way off the mark.

The hosts then stunned Grampus with another superbly executed goal.

In the 38th minute Al Ain’s Elias sent Valentin Badea down the left and then raced into the box to receive the return pass and flick it home for a 2-0 lead.

The Japanese, however, struck soon after the break when a long ball caught the Al Ain defence on the backfoot and Jungo Fujimoto reduced the margin.

But Al Ain restored their two-goal cushion in the very next minute when Genta Matsuo brought down Haddaf Abdullah inside the box and a penalty was awarded. Elias coolly slammed the ball into the roof of the net for his second goal and Al Ain were 3-1 up.

Grampus tried their best to get back into the game and peppered the rival box with some dangerous crosses but with Suleiman solid in goal and defenders Muahannad Al Enzi and Mussalam Faiz quick to thwart any danger, the hosts held on much to the delight of their fans.

One Comment »