Al Ain UAE qualifies for the AFC Champions League final

The Emirati club Al Ain qualified for the final despite losing away to Al Hilal 1-2 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, in the second leg before the 2023-2024 AFC Champions League final.

Rubén Neves (4 from a penalty kick) and Salem Al Dosari (51) scored the goals for Al Hilal, while Eric De Menezes (12) scored the goal for Al Ain.

The first-leg match between the two teams was held last Wednesday, where Al-Ain won 4-2 at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al-Ain, allowing Al-Ain to qualify for the final after winning 5-4 on aggregate in the two-legged matches.

The second match in the second leg of the semi-final will witness the meeting of Yokohama Marinos of Japan with its guest, Ulsan Hyundai of the Republic of Korea, at Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama, noting that the first leg ended with a 1-0 victory for Ulsan in Ulsan.

In the group stage, Al Hilal topped the fourth group standings with 16 points from six matches, compared to 13 points for Uzbekistan’s Navbahor, and 6 for Iranian Nasaji Mazandaran, while India’s Mumbai City FC remained devoid of points, then it won in the round of 16 over Iranian Sepahan 6-2. In the aggregate of the two matches, and in the quarter-finals, it defeated its compatriot Al-Ittihad by 4-0 in the aggregate of the two matches.

On the other hand, Al Ain topped the standings of the first group with 15 points from six matches, compared to 9 points for Al-Fayhaa of Saudi Arabia, 7 for Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan and 4 for Al-Turkman, and won in the round of 16 over Nasaf of Uzbekistan by 2-1 on aggregate in the two matches, and in the quarter-finals over Al-Nasr of Saudi Arabia by a penalty difference. Penalty shootout 3-1 after the two teams tied 4-4 on aggregate.

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