Al Ain star Caio earns our Roger Dubuis Al Ain Player of the Day

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Al Ain star Caio

Al Ain suffered late heartbreak as Al Wahda secured automatic qualification into next season’s AFC Asian Champions League at their expense following a 1-0 win at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Sunday.

The Boss twice survived the hosts hitting the woodwork before carving out opportunities on the break through their threatening forward Caio.

However, following the second-half dismissal of captain Mohanad Salem for two bookable offences, Juan Carlos Garrido’s side went into survival mode.

Despite enduring a frustrating evening, the Arabian Gulf League’s most prolific marksman Sebastian Tagliabue headed home in the 87th minute to hand The Clarets a vital three points which saw them vault Al Ain into third spot.

But there remains hope for the visitors as they can still secure progression to the ACL through the qualifying rounds.

Caio, playing in what is likely his final game for the club before reportedly moving to Portuguese giants Benfica, was undoubtedly the brightest spot on an otherwise dismal night for The Boss, and so he is our Roger Dubuis Al Ain Player of the Day.

KEY STATISTICS

63% pass accuracy

7.3km run

4 shots

1 yellow card

2605al ain player of day

30-SECOND REPORT

The home side were in the ascendancy for much of the clash as UAE icon and Wahda skipper Ismail Mattar pulled the strings from the No10 slot.

Yet Caio was a massive threat on the counter and he was Al Ain’s obvious out ball whenever they tried to release pressure.

The Brazilian would pull out left and right to receive the ball, draw defenders in before jinking past to create openings for his team-mates.

He did have chances of his own, but none were clear cut as he struggled to make any real connection. After the dismissal, he was brought off in the 83rd minute as Garrido tried to sure things up.

GOT RIGHT

Dancing feet – The humidity is obviously a massive factor at this time of the year and so the pace of the game was noticeably slow. That was unless Caio was in possession. The 25-year-old danced his way across the pitch as he searched for openings, twisting and turning to unlock little gaps and that change of pace formed the fulcrum of Al Ain’s attack.

GOT WRONG

Conviction – He did have chances and with a little more conviction, Caio could have turned what admittedly were half openings into goals. He twice slalomed his way into a little pocket of space only to then fail to get any clean connection of his strike.

VERDICT

Individually, Caio can take away some positives from his display but it would have been a frustrating evening from a collective point of view with not much help around him.

6/10

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