x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Valdivia brace seals Al Ain win

Jorge Valdivia's brace was enough for Al Ain to win three points from promoted Ajman in round six of the Etisalat Pro League.

AL AIN // Jorge Valdivia's brace was enough for Al Ain to win three points from promoted Ajman in round six of the Etisalat Pro League at the Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium. The Chile international opened the scoring from a 29th minute spot kick and doubled the lead by blasting home a cross from Fares Jumaa in injury time of the first half. Valdivia missed out on a hat trick when he was miss-hit his shot with the goalkeeper Mohammed Hussain out of position. Ajman were reduced to 10 players shortly before the break and then to nine on the pitch five minutes from time. But the numerical disadvantage only fired them up as they came up with a better performance after the break. Not only did they prevent Ain from piling on the lead but they threatened the home side with a few breakaway chances. Ain started brightly and wasted a glorious opportunity to go ahead after only six minutes when Valdivia set-up Andre Senghor in front of the post, but the lanky Senegalese blasted it over the crossbar when he had all the time to take aim and slot it to either side of the net. Valdivia was denied six minutes later by a superb reflex save from Mohammed Hussain and Senghor's close range header bounced in front of the goalmouth and sailed over the bar. Ain took control of the game and a goal seemed imminent. And it came in the form of a spot kick earned by Ali al Wehaibi. They could have doubled the lead two minute later but Senghor was off target from space created by Valdivia. The win kept Ain one point behind leaders Al Ahli, who took their tally to 15 after a 3-0 result over promoted Al Khaleej earlier in the night. Al Nasr handed the defending champions Al Shabab a 3-2 defeat and Al Shaab came back from behind twice to salvage a 2-2 draw with Al Wasl in the other late games. Mohammed Omer and the Iranian Mehrzad Madanchi gave Nasr a 2-0 lead at the break before Shabab pulled one back through Mohammed Nasser three minutes from time shortly after they were reduced to 10 players with Bader Abdulrahman red carded. But any chance of a comeback from them were laid to rest when Omer struck in injury time. apassela@thenational.ae