The Boss rallied from a goal down to draw 1-1 in the frenetic derby at Al Wahda on Friday night, even finishing the stronger with 10 men after veteran centre-back Ismail Ahmed’s controversial dismissal.
The result made it two hardfought wins and a draw in the Arabian Gulf League since losing the continental showpiece to South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
For Dalic, this ability to recover exemplifies the indomitable spirit inside the UAE’s most decorated club.
“It has not been easy for us,” the 50-year-old said. “You can see we have had many problems, but always my players find more energy, more power and they come back.
“It is not easy, everybody expected we would go down and lose everything. But no. We have The powers of recovery Al Ain boss Dalic hails his side’s spirit and says they are stronger after their final heartbreak come back, played well, done a great job and are going full power.”
One player to miss out playing in front of the boisterous 11,000-strong crowd at Al Nahyan Stadium was Danilo Asprilla. The Colombian winger was absent for the Garden City-outfit because of a one-match ban issued retrospectively by the UAE Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee after briefly choking giant Al Wasl defender Hassan Zahran last Sunday.
Television replays got Asprilla in trouble and Dalic hoped the same medium would exonerate Ahmed.
The 33-year-old was perplexingly red carded in the second half, despite not appearing to catch Wahda midfielder Mohammed Abdulbasit in the follow through from a challenge.
He said: “Now, please I ask the Committee to take the television, take the recording, take this moment and if Ismail did something, punish him. If not, do not punish him.”
The inconsistent hosts began much the better in the capital, Hungary winger Balazs Dzsudzsak deservedly lashing them ahead. It took a former idol to equalise, Wahda youth product Saeed Al Kathiri heading in with his first touch as an enforced substitute for the injured Douglas on 53 minutes.
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