x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Al Ain 3 Al Ahli 6

Grafite scores four times to lead Al Ahli past Asamoah Gyan and champions Al Ain

Grafite, in red, scored four times for Al Ahli in their 6-3 victory over defending league champion Al Ain.
Grafite, in red, scored four times for Al Ahli in their 6-3 victory over defending league champion Al Ain.

AL AIN // Grafite, the Brazilian forward, made a clear statement of his intent to top the scoring charts in the Pro League, as he struck four times to get Al Ahli off to a flying start with a stunning 6-3 win over Al Ain at the Tahnoun bin Mohammed stadium Sunday night.

The former Wolfsburg hitman told The National he wanted to win the league's golden boot this year and his rival for the title would be Al Ain's Asamoah Gyan. That is looking like an astute observation as they bagged six goals between them Sunday night.

Grafite's first came from the spot and he was on target three times in the second half. Basheer Saeed scored with a spectacular volley and Luis Antonio Jiminez rounded off the scoring seven minutes from time to complete a fantastic second-half rally and leave the defending champions shell-shocked in front of their home fans.

Gyan had put the home side ahead and Jires Kembo Ekoko regained the lead with a low shot after Grafite had equalised.

Dawoud Sulaiman, the Al Ain goalkeeper, conceded a penalty with a clumsy tackle on Jiminez, and Grafite made no mistake with the shot by blasting it to the corner of the net 11 minutes in.

Saeed's stunning goal came from a corner from Jiminez and then Sulaiman's poor judgement in clearing a back pass from Mohammed Ahmed allowed Grafite to put the visitors ahead.

The Brazilian broke through the Al Ain defence to complete his hat-trick and added a fourth when he tapped in a ball that fell on his path from a corner.

Al Ain ended with 10 players when Mirel Radoi was given a straight red by the referee Yaqoub Al Hammadi for stamping on Amir Mubarak.

apassela@thenational.ae

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