Four days after hammering Al Nasr 4-0 to claim a record-extending 13th top-flight UAE title, the Boss blitzed Mahdi Ali’s side with Brazilian flyer Caio their tormentor in chief with a brace.
The Boss benefitted from two decisions which went to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), with Hussein El Shahat’s initially disallowed goal for offside correctly reversed, while the official also consulted the system to award Zoran Mamic’s side a penalty in the second half after Marcus Berg had been slapped in the face by Shabab Al Ahli defender Hassan Ibrahim.
The writing appeared on the wall after just four minutes for the struggling Shabab at Al Jazira’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, when Egypt schemer El Shahat teed up Berg. He was thwarted brilliantly by Majed Nasser but the Swedish striker had the presence of mind to tee up Caio to sweep home the opening goal.
They doubled up just four minutes later when El Shahat flicked in an intelligent chip from Omar Abdulrahman, though the goal was initially ruled out for offside, the referee overturning the linesman’s flag after consulting the replay.
Makhete Diop had a golden chance to pull one back but somehow sent a free header wide from six yards out while the Senegal star had a fiercely-struck free-kick stunning tipped over by Khalid Essa after the break.
Abdulrahman then saw his own free-kick go narrowly over before the tie was put to bed when Ibrahim petulantly raised his arms to Berg in the box and the Boss were awarded a spot-kick after the intervention again of the VAR.
Berg stepped up and side-footed his side 3-0 ahead before the deadly marksman then turned provider for Caio to tap in his second to make it 4-0.
The men from the Garden City were awarded a second penalty nine minutes from time when Mohammed Sebil barged over substitute Ahmed Khalil in the box, the UAE powerhouse confidently knocking in the resulting kick to make it five.
Full-back Bandar Al Ahbabi sealed a convincing win in stoppage time when he rifled in a left-footed strike to compound a miserable night for Shabab Al Ahli.
A first President’s Cup triumph in four years is now on the cards for Al Ain – who are also going for glory on the continent, with the club through to the last 16 of the AFC Champions League.
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