x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Ahmed to the rescue for Al Ain to deny Al Wahda

Ismail Ahmed's last gasp goal salvaged a draw for Al Ain at Al Wahda.

Al Ain's Ignacio Scocco, centre, tries to escape the attentions of Al Wahda's Yaqoob Al Hosani, left, and Magrao.
Al Ain's Ignacio Scocco, centre, tries to escape the attentions of Al Wahda's Yaqoob Al Hosani, left, and Magrao.

ABU DHABI // Ismail Ahmed capped an evening of late-match drama in the Pro League last night.

The Al Ain defender joined Ajman's Ibrahima Toure and Sharjah's Salim Jasim in scoring late equalisers as Al Ain became the third club in the league to salvage a point in added time.

He headed home a cross from Ali Al Wehaibi for the visitors to secure a 2-2 draw with Al Wahda at the Al Nahyan stadium.

Hamdan Al Kamali, the UAE international defender, turned from villain to hero within two minutes of action as he quickly made amends for an own goal by scoring at the other end.

He first connected with an Asamoah Gyan cross to send a header into the back of his own net, but restored parity by using his head to more spectacular effect from Basheer Saeed's free kick on the half hour.

Mohammed Al Shehhi, unmarked at the far post, then hammered home a chipped pass for from Ismail Matar to give Wahda the lead three minutes before the break.

Mutaz Abdulla denied Gyan, the Ghana international, twice as the visitors pressed hard for the equaliser after the interval.

The veteran Wahda goalkeeper blocked a close-range shot in the 76th minute and then made a superb reflex save to push the ball over the bar off header from 10 yards.

Al Ain had assembled one of the best attacks in pre-season including Gyan, who is on a one-year loan from the Premier League club Sunderland.

And with Yasser Al Qahtani, the Saudi Arabia forward along with the Argentine winger Ignacio Scocco and midfielder Mirel Radoi from Romania, they were formidable on paper.

Yet it looked like they would fail to break down the Wahda defence that included three players - Al Kamali, Saeed and Eisa Ahmed -returning from UAE inter national duty - a 2-1 away defeat to South Korea in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

But the home defence finally cracked under the pressure, and Al Ain defender Ahmed came up trumps with a last-gasp attempt to score the equaliser three minutes into the extra five allotted by the fourth official.

The result took Al Ain's tally to four points from two games and left Wahda disappointed as they were left with only their first point of the campaign.

A similar late goal consigned them to a 2-1 defeat to Al Shabab on the opening night of the league.

 

apassela@thenational.ae

@ For more on the UAE PRO LEAGUE 2011-12 see thenational.ae/topics