a58e909331158210VgnVCM200000e66411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2010-02Ten Cate admits work in progress958e909331158210VgnVCM200000e66411ac____Ten Cate admits work in progressThe new coach in charge of Al Ahli concedes he has lots of work to do as Ahli are whipped 5-0 by a resurgent Al Ain side.<p>AL AIN // Henk ten Cate's first Pro League game in charge of Al Ahli ended in embarrassment, when the defending champions were thrashed 5-0 by a resurgent Al Ain side at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium last night.
Two strikes early in the game, followed by three more in the second half, ensured the nine-time league champions were comprehensively beaten.
Al Ain also sent out a strong message about title challenge, the result taking their tally to 29 points as they maintained third position, four behind the leaders Al Jazira.</p>
<p>Al Ain were two goals up in the blink of an eye. Jose Sand was on target in the third minute with a left foot shot from the near post when he picked up a loose ball after Salem Abdulla had blocked an attempted clearance at the edge box.
The visitors were still recovering when Ali al Wehaibi worked his way down the right flank and crossed for the unmarked Abdulla Malallah to head home less than a minute later.</p>
<p>Helal Saeed added a third in the 67th minute before Sand and Malallah, both scored their second goals in the 72nd and 86th, all set up by the influential Chile midfielder Jorge Valdivia, who returned to Pro League action after nearly three months out with a leg injury he suffered in a friendly for his national team against Slovakia. And Al Ain were impressive with Valdivia pulling the strings in the middle.</p>
<p>Ahli, stung by the early blows, mounted a series of attacking moves but none were close enough to put pressure on the Al Ain goal.
Ahmed Khalil had a golden opportunity to pull a goal back, but his close range shot sailed over the crossbar.
Ten Cate said: "The two early goals took the game away from us. It was difficult to come back for us, particularly against a team like Al Ain. The better team won but this result doesn't tell the actual story of Ahli's strength and ability.</p>
<p>"We did well after 15 minutes and through to 25 minutes of the second half. We even created a few chances. Al Ain had about seven chances and they scored from five. It was a high percentage and a very high performance from them.
"We must be honest. The league is over for us. What needs to be done is to see we don't fall further down the order. The important thing for Ahli is to regain the confidence. I had just two days with the team and I must say we have a lot of work to do.</p>
<p>"The Asian Champions League starts in two weeks' time and obviously the importance lay for us in this competition. This is the only way we can make the remainder of our season more meaningful."