Zoran Mamic bemoans 'mistakes over both the games' as Al Ain crash out of ACL

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Al Ain players during Tuesday's elimination at Al Duhail in 2018 AFC Champions League.

Al Ain coach Zoran Mamic bemoaned “mistakes over both the games” as Al Duhail made them pay a heavy price in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s round of 16.

The clash of the domestic double winners turned into a landslide victory for the Qataris. Djamel Belmadi’s undefeated QNB Stars League holders scored four times in both legs against their Arabian Gulf League-winning rivals, coming away from Tuesday’s decider at Doha’s Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium with an 8-3 aggregate victory.

“If we analyse, we can see that we made mistakes over both the games,” said Mamic, whose hopes of overturning a 4-2 opening defeat swiftly evaporated.

“You need to be a top team to be able to exploit these mistakes and Al Duhail did just that.”

An own goal from UAE defender Mohamed Ahmed and Morocco centre forward Youssef El Arabi’s tap-in made it 2-0 within 30 minutes.

A pair of second-half goals from Qatar forward Ismael Mohammad and El Arabi’s second, this time from the penalty spot, guaranteed a 20th-successive win in all competitions for Duhail. 2016 AFC Player of the Year Omar Abdulrahman got a late consolation from 12 yards for the Boss.

A gracious Mamic conceded the best team had gone through.

He said: “Congratulations to Al Duhail on reaching the quarter-final; they deserve it.

“They played very good football, playing it simple and not complicating things, with one-two touches and a lot of speed.

“They have such players in the team (who are capable of that) and they used that very well. This is the formula to be successful.”

This hammering made it the first time since 2014 that no UAE side made the last-eight and denied Al Ain a third-successive quarter-final.

The Boss were denied Sweden No9 Marcus Berg because of illness and Brazilian forward Caio through suspension in Doha. But Mamic declared this was no excuse.

He said: “We missed two important players – Caio and Berg.

“We didn’t have replacements who could be of that quality. But that’s not the reason we lost the game.

“I have to repeat that Al Duhail were better than us on the day.”

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