Al Ain's catalyst Caio earns our Roger Dubuis Al Ain Player of the Day

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Al Ain returned to winning ways in the Arabian Gulf League at the Fujairah Stadium on Saturday evening with a 2-0 victory over Dibba.

The contest got off to an even start before the visitors showed their quality against the bottom-placed outfit by taking the lead in the 22nd minute when Caio’s ball in was flicked on by Khalid Al Baloushi and finished by Amer Abdulrahman.

The hosts did put up a fight and forced Khalid Essa into a couple of superb saves but The Boss squandered chances of their own to extend their lead. Caio even had the ball in the back of the net 15 minutes from time but his effort was ruled out for offside.

The Brazilian made no mistake in stoppage time though when he latched on to a quick throw-in before out-witting the keeper and scoring the second to seal the win.

Here we take a closer look at Caio’s performance.


Struggling Dibba were eager for a result in their bid to avoid relegation and therefore started this encounter pretty fiercely. They went toe-to-toe with Al Ain and even made some early inroads down the left flank where Yasen Al Bakhet caused Saeed Juma plenty of problems.

Visiting keeper Essa also needed to come to his side’s aid on occasion. His first-half save to deny Driss Fettouhi’s header from a Yasser Abdullah free-kick was outstanding. He then denied Abdullah in a one-on-one in the second period.

However, Al Ain had plenty of firepower of their own and Caio was the livewire in their attack. The forward created plenty of openings and even set up the goal for Abdulrahman.

In truth, the away side should’ve been out of side but for some poor finishing with Ruben Ribeiro guilty of fluffing his lines on a few occasions.

Caio did ensure victory with his strike at the death but the Dibba players didn’t take kindly to the quick freekick and Fettouhi was issued a straight red for throwing the ball at the referee in frustration shortly before the final whistle.


Apart from a couple of lapses in defence, Al Ain had begun proceedings rather well in possession. However, they needed someone to take the initiative in order to put the hosts under pressure and Caio answered their call.

The Brazilian proved to be the catalyst as his mesmeric dribbling and excellent close control sparked Al Ain into life. Caio was able to attract the attentions of two or three Dibba defenders at a time, dragging them out of position and creating space for his team-mates to exploit.

His quick feet came to the fore in the 22nd minute when he beat his man on the left flank before sending in a dangerous low ball into the box. Khalid Al Baloushi made a run to the near post and got the final touch before Abdulrahman finished well but make no mistake, Caio was the architect.

Dibba were to be bamboozled once more when the South American sashayed past a couple of defenders inside the area before having his shot blocked. Caio continued to threaten throughout with his dangerous runs in behind and ability to drive at the defence rendering a constant nuisance for the home team.


While it was a very tight call and a tad unfortunate, Caio must accept a share of the blame for being caught offside when he had a goal ruled out in the second half. The Brazilian didn’t get back in line with the ball and after a VAR check, was rightly denied.

There were other occasions as well when Caio’s eagerness to score saw him make his runs too early, forcing the man on the ball to look elsewhere for a pass.

The 25-year-old was desperate to be involved but at times that led him to drop too deep, leaving Al Ain short of options inside the box.

On the other hand, Caio’s positioning was impeccable at the death when he took advantage of a quick throw-in, beat the keeper and scored the second to kill off the tie.


Not only did he dazzle the opposition with his slaloming runs, but his link-up play meant nearly every good move Al Ain put together went through him. On another day, he would’ve had a brace to his name but was unfortunate to be caught offside before showing outstanding composure to score deep into stoppage time.


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