x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Gyan's first strike for Al Ain not enough to defeat Emirates

Al Hassane Keita scores 13 minutes from time to win a point for Emirates in the Etisalat Cup.

Asamoah Gyan made his first start in the UAE and scored his first goal, but his Al Ain side settled for a 1-1 draw with Emirates in an Etisalat Cup match in Ras Al Khaimah on Saturday night.

Gyan, on loan to Al Ain from the Premier League side Sunderland, scored in the 25th minute to give the visitors the lead.

However, Al Hassane Keita, the compact Guinean forward, scored 13 minutes from time to win a point for Emirates, who are making their return to the top flight. The goal was set up when Mohammed Fayez, the Al Ain defender, caught only a part of the ball on a clearance attempt, and it landed behind him and directly in the path of Keita, who carried it into the area before putting it past Waleed Salim, the goalkeeper, and inside the far post.

Al Ain dominated the first 45 minutes, but Emirates, playing with their senior side for the first time this season, were in the ascendance in the second half, and they had several chances to score a winning goal in the final 15 minutes.

Gyan left after the match to join the Ghana national team for an African Cup of Nations qualifier next Saturday against Sudan.

Al Ain played without Yasser Al Qahtani, the Saudi Arabian forward, who also is on duty with his national side, and several Emiratis who are with the UAE team in China ahead of the October 11 World Cup qualifier against South Korea.

Al Ain are on four points after three matches, already five behind leaders Al Jazira in Group A. In other action, Ibrahima Toure, the Ivorian forward, scored three times to lead the surprisingly impressive Ajman to a 3-2 victory over Sharjah.

Toure ran his scoring total to five in three cup matches, one more goal than Al Wasl's Mariano Donda has scored.

Ajman are back in the top flight after a year in the First Division, but they have started strongly, with two victories and a draw from three matches.

Edinho scored for Sharjah to level at 1-1 in the 44th minute, and Marcelo Oliveira added a goal in the 55th to give the home side a 2-1 advantage.

Toure, however, scored in the 66th minute and netted the winner two minutes later.

Ajman have seven points to sit at the top of Group B. The clubs finishing first and second in each group advance to the Etisalat Cup semi-finals next year.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae


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