AL Ain of UAE defeated Bahrain’s Malkiya 2-0 in the play-off round of the AFC Champions League last night at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.
The home team dominated the first-half with 18 shots at goal and 72 per cent possession compared to Bahrain’s 28 per cent possession.
But Al Ain could not convert their dominance into a goal before the break.
Al Ain continued to press forward after the restart and their persistence paid off in the 53rd minute when Marcus Berg scored off a timely cross.
Al Ain made it 2-0 just seven minutes later through Caio. Al Ain continued to dominate and enjoy better possession and had another eight shot sat goal.
However, they could increase the margin of victory.
The result means Al Ain are through to the group stages of the 2018 AFC Champions League. They will be in Group ‘D’ with Saudi giants and last year’s finalists Al Hilal, Irani side Esteghlal and Qatari side Al Rayyan. Al Ain made it to the semi-finals last season.
Bahrain’s Malkiya will play in the AFC Cup competition and they are in Group ‘A’ with Air Force (Iraq), Al Jazira (Jordan) and and a qualifying team from West Asia zone.
AL AIN: Khalid Eisa, Bandar Al-Ahbabi, Mohamed Ahmed, Mohanad Salem, Mohammed Fayez, Ahmed Barman, Tsukasa Shiotani (Amer Abdulrahman 74’), Hussein El Shahat (Ibrahim Diaky 69’), Omar Abdulrahman, Caio, Marcus Berg.
MALKIYA: Abdulkarim Fardan, Sayed Issa, Gege Soriola, Sayed Hashem, Ali Ashoor Mohamed, Nawaf Abdullah, Ammar Hassan (Sayed Ali Isa 76’), Israa Hamwiah, Ahmed Yusuf, Isa Abdul Albari, Hashim Isa.