It was a tale of two Abdulrahman brothers for Al Ain, as Mohamed provided the inspiration in resounding Arabian Gulf League victory against Ajman while a new role continues to beckon for Omar.
Mohamed Abdulrahman, the less heralded of the pair, had a hand in three of the four goals as he shone in the attacking midfield spot previously the sole preserve of his sibling.
The Orange Brigade – for whom Haddaf Abdulla was dismissed at the death – had no answer as he danced through the centre and dissected their defence with a series of incisive balls.
For UAE icon Omar Abdulrahman, there was a repeat of the deep-lying role from last Saturday’s 2-0 win against Al Wasl.
The 23 year old has started slowly this term, a lack of verve and match sharpness brutally exposed during last week’s 3-0 AFC Champions League semi-final, first leg routing by Al Hilal.
The inspiration will return in time for a player who ranks upon Asia’s finest when in peak physical condition.
The ‘regista’ position was his for the second-successive fixture as coach Zlatko Dalic continues to re-engineer ahead of next Tuesday’s decider against the Saudi Arabians.
Mohamed Abdulrahman departed after 72 exceptional minutes. Ever-alert, the 25 year old’s quick-feet and nimble mind was the perfect conduit as the Boss proved unstoppable on the counter-attack.
A helter-skelter start saw the sides share a number of chances. A furious exchange featured Asamoah Gyan in unusually generous mood, shooting straight at Ali Mesmari from close-range.
The miss should have been punished instantly. Ajman charged forward and cut a path straight through the heart of the visitor’s defence, only for Waleed Ahmed Hassan to curl inches wide of the post when an opener seemed certain.
Algerian playmaker Karim Ziani pushed a header just over and forced a fine low save from distance by Khalid Essa as the frailities at the back present in Riyadh momentarily re-appeared despite the utilisation of UAE centre-back Mohanad Salem in favour of Fares Juma.
Missed chances soon came back to haunt the hosts. The Boss raced out of sight with two quick-fire strikes just before the break.
Mohamed Abdulrahman calmly slotted into an open goal on 37 minutes after the exceptional Jires Kembo-Ekoko used his long limbs to break clear and centre.
The same recipe worked wonders soon after, Miroslav Stoch – who later hobbled off with injury that places his participation against Hilal in doubt – taking his time to bury another cut-back from the same player.
A procession was secured shy of the hour-mark. Mohamed Abdulrahman hustled Ajman out of possession in midfield, setting Kembo-Ekoko free to be the provider once more for Gyan’s second goal in two games.
Great players cannot be held down for long, however. Omar Abdulrahman, getting valuable minutes in his legs, sparked the injury-time fourth.
A lobbed pass few are able to fathom sent Gyan through, his low cross being tapped in by returning substitute Mohammed Fawzi.
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