Al Ain, the UAE's representative, began their AFC Champions League adventure with a commanding 3-0 victory over Uzbekistan's Pakhtakor Tashkent.
The victory not only garners Al Ain their first three points but also positions them temporarily atop their group.
Concurrently, UAE's Sharjah FC battled to a goalless draw against Qatar's Al-Sadd, further highlighting the strength of Emirati football on the continental stage.
From the onset, Al Ain colloquially showcased their superiority, leaving no doubt about their deserved triumph.
Star striker Laba Kodjo etched his mark on the match early on, finding the net in the 11th minute following a precision cross from Bandar Al Ahbabi.
But Kodjo wasn't done The Congolese forward turned provider in the 25th minute, setting up Khalid Al-Baloushi to double Al Ain's lead.
In the face of heightened pressure from Pakhtakor in the second half, Al Ain remained resolute in defense, leveraging their potent counter-attacking strategy.
This approach bore fruit in the 66th minute when Kodjo unleashed a formidable shot to seal the win and underscore Al Ain's credentials in this year's competition.