At the opening match at King Saud University Stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh attended by 25,000 fans, Al Ain FC was able to snatch a precious point from the home team, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal, following holding them to a goalless draw in matchround 1 of group stage of the AFC Champions League 2018. By this result, Al Ain got a point into their balance just as all the other teams of Group D whose matches ended by a draw result.

Ainawi’s Superiority
Maneuvers were largely limited within the center of the filed in the beginning of the match. However, Al Ain sooner launched their dangerous attacks at the home team’s net when firstly El Shahat sent a deft pass to Berg who shot it powerfully but Al Hilal goalkeeper put it off turning it into a corner kick “10”. Al Ain relentlessly kept pounding at Al Hilal’s net through two corner kicks shot by Caio who himself was so close to score the leading goal when he flew high to a stunning pass sent by Mohammed Ahmad but AL Hilal defender was the nearest and controlled it “12”.

Shooting Weapon
It was clear that Al Ain was dominating the center of the field due to the effective role played by its midfielders. Shiotani fired a shot from outside the box and missed the bar by a whisker “20” and Al Ain’s star defenders Ismael and Mohannad managed to thwart two attack attempts launched by the home team.

Backline Superiority
After the minute 25 of the match, Al Hilal dominated the midfield area and initiated penetration attempts towards Khaled Issa’s net, but all had gone unheeded. Mohannad was able to defuse a serious attack within the box by talking Al Hilal striker and successfully sending the ball away “36”. Oman’s Referee used the yellow cards against Caio Lucas and Nicolas Milesi of Al Hilal for friction without ball “39”.

Ainawi Awakening
Rayan Yaslam had a perfect chance when he broke through the box after receiving a charming pass from El Shahat, but he decided not to shoot and passed it to Berg but was intercepted by Al Hilal defender and loosing the chance to break the deadlock “43”. Caio played a free kick that hit the wall and then the Referee whistled to announce the end of the first half.

Second half
Even Head Start
After changing the sides, the match rhythm was even and the two teams exchanged launching attacks and Shiotani sent a powerful shot but passed the left post “46”. Mohannad was punished by a yellow card for rough tackle against Al Hilal player “50”, and Caio shaked Al Hilal’s defender to find himself face to face with the goalkeeper who palmed off the ball “55”. Khaled Issa succeeded to put off a very dangerous direct shot sent by Milesi turning it into a corner kick “58”.

Al Ain sought to find solutions to score in Al Hilal net through counter-attacks and Berg within the box shot a powerful ball but in the outer net “63”, and El Shahat send cross ball into Al Hilal’s box for Berg who turned it to Shiotani, but the intervention of the goalkeeper and defender spoiled the most critical attack of the match “66”.

Ainawi Substitutions
Zoran decided to carry out certain substitutions by replacing El Shahat by Mohamed Fayez to reactivate the defensive side under the pressure of Al Hilal “80”. Caio tried to invest in Mohammed’s Abdul Rahman cross but he sent it over the bar “81”. Zoran then replaced Shiotani by Amer Abdul Rahman “86” and in the final minutes Mohammed Fayez and Ahmad Barman were both issued a yellow card respectively “87” and “88”.

Al Ain: 0

Goals: 0
Starting Lineup: Khaled Issa, Ismail Ahmed, Mohannad Salem, Mohammed Ahmed, Shiotani Tsukasa, Ahmed Barman, Rayan Yaslam, Mohammed Abdul Rahman, Hussein Al-Shahat, Caio Lucas, Marcus Berg.
Substitutions: Mohamed Fayez substituted El Shahat “80” and Amer Abdul Rahman substituted Shiotani “86”.
Yellow Cards: Mohammed Abdul Rahman “6”, Caio Lucas “39”, Mohannad Al Enezi “50”, Mohammed Fayez “87”and Ahmad Barman “88”
Red Cards: None

Al Hilal: 0

Goals: 0
Starting Lineup: Abdullah Al Mayouf, Shahrani, Jahfali, Hossawi, Al Zouri, Al Khaibari, Milesi, Mohammed Kano, Ashraf binsharqi, Seruti, Mokhtar Falatta
Substitutions: Otaif substituted Khaibari “56”, Al Braik substituted Al Zouri, Mujahid substituted Mukhtar Falatta “68”
Yellow Cards: Milesi “39”, Kano “72”
Red Cards: None


The match was run by Ahmad Al Kaf, assisted by Al Ameri Abu Bakr “first assistant” and Rashid Al Ghaithi “second assistant”.