AL AIN // It does not happen often. Al Ain were on 40 goals and declared they would celebrate their next to coincide with tomorrow's 41st National Day festivities.
Fittingly that privilege was bestowed on Asamoah Gyan, the leading scorer in the Pro League.
The Ghana captain was on target in the 14th minute which took his tally to 18 from 10 games.
Gyan celebrated the opening goal against Al Shaab with his now familiar head-bang and a little jig that sent the home crowd cheering with gusto.
Ali Al Wehaibi doubled the lead on the hour on the end of a cross from Alex Brosque, who moved to the left-wing position when Jires Kembo Ekoko was substituted for Helal Saeed.
The Emirati international was unmarked on the far side of the post and had enough time to stop the ball, take aim, and coolly strike it to the corner of the net.
Rodrigo Vergilio, the Brazilian forward, pulled one back from a stunning 30-yard shot for Shaab to keep the game alive, but Al Ain saw off those anxious moments for the 2-1 result last night at the Tahnoun bin Mohammed stadium.
Cosmin Olaroiu, the Al Ain coach, had warned of his player's tendency to lose concentration after scoring early in the game and this was again evident after they doubled the lead. "We are almost reaching the half way mark in the league and teams are showing a lot of improvement," Al Wehaibi said at the post-match television interview.
"At this stage what is most important is the three points. The margin of the win really doesn't matter.
"The crowd came with a lot of anticipation that we would win this game and we didn't disappoint them.
Al Ain extended their winning streak to five from five. It was their eighth win and took their points tally to 25 after losing to Al Ahli 6-3 in their opening game.
They meet Baniyas, who are second on 22, next in a top-of-the-table game on Wednesday.
Gyan had a golden opportunity to become the scorer of the 41st goal in the ninth minute but through one-on-one, he shot straight at Hussain Ali Al Harbi, the Shaab goalkeeper.
But there was no denying him the second time as he timed his run perfectly to receive Brosque's short tap and drill it past a hapless Al Harbi for the home side to take a 14th-minute lead.
Shaab were lucky to have Salah Abbas on the pitch after the midfielder's two nasty tackles on Mirel Radoi.
Shaab managed to keep the score line to 1-0 at the break as Al Ain kept the pressure on throughout that 45 minutes.
Al Ain began strongly in the second half. Al Harbi did well to push out a stinging shot from Brosque before Al Wehaibi struck what proved to be the winner.
Dibba Al Fujairah 1 Al Shabab 2
Azizbek Haydarov and Edgar Bruno each scored in the final 10 minutes to win it for the Dubai side. Alex Medeiros had given the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute on a shot inside the area to the far post. Haydarov, the Uzbek, levelled on a 28-metre blast in the 80th minute; Bruno got the winner in the 85th.
Ajman 4 Al Wahda 2
Boris Kabi scored twice in two minutes, and Founeke Sy broke a tie in the 75th as the hosts climbed further out of the relegation zone. Karrar Jasim scored a penalty to clinch it. Papa Waigo, right, and Tawfeeq Al Hosani scored for Wahda, who have conceded 14 goals in past three league games.
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