Al Ain eliminates Al Hilal and reaches Asian Champions League final – Barron’s

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Al Ain eliminates Al Hilal and reaches Asian Champions League final – Barron’s


Al Ain reached the Asian Champions League final for the first time since 2016 with a 5-4 aggregate victory over four-time winners Al Hilal, despite losing the second leg 2-1 in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Trailing 4-2 after their record 34-game winning streak ended in last week’s first leg, Al Hilal quickly reduced the deficit thanks to Ruben Neves’ fourth-minute penalty.

Brazilian…

Al Ain reached the Asian Champions League final for the first time since 2016 with a 5-4 aggregate victory over four-time winners Al Hilal, despite losing the second leg 2-1 in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Trailing 4-2 after their record 34-game winning streak ended in last week’s first leg, Al Hilal quickly reduced the deficit thanks to Ruben Neves’ fourth-minute penalty.

Brazilian Erik, however, equalized for Al Ain that evening, leaving runaway Saudi Pro League leaders Al Hilal with a mountain to climb in the second half.

But Salem Al Dawsari scored a rebound less than six minutes after the restart to give the hosts hope.

Brazilian Michael and former Lazio star Sergei Milinkovic-Savic both went close as Al Hilal piled on the pressure, the latter seeing his effort cleared off the line.

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Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Eisa had a great night, making six saves, including those from Michael and Mohamed Kanno late in the match.

The UAE visitors held on desperately for nine minutes of added time, with Eisa keeping away a Michael header in the 98th minute.

Hernan Crespo’s Al Ain will face either Yokohama F-Marinos or Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai in the final in May as they bid for a second triumph in the competition and first since 2003.

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Japanese club Yokohama trails 1-0 on aggregate heading into their semi-final return on Wednesday.

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