In an electrifying match at Rashid Stadium, Al Ain delivered a masterclass performance, clinching a dominant 3-0 victory over Shabab Al Ahli.
This crucial win in matchweek eight of the ADNOC Pro League catapulted Al Ain to the second spot in the league standings, amassing 18 points, while Shabab Al Ahli now trails closely behind in third place with 17 points.
The action kicked off with Al Ain asserting their presence early on Just 9 minutes into the game, Laba Kodjo opened the scoring. A precisely executed corner kick set Kodjo up for a spectacular finish, marking his seventh goal in the head-to-head encounters between these two formidable teams.
The momentum firmly in their favor, Al Ain doubled their lead in the 23rd minute. Matias Palacios, seizing the moment in a beautifully orchestrated play, found himself in the right place at the right time inside the penalty box.
With unwavering confidence, he drilled the ball into the back of the net. This significant goal marked Palacios's first in the ADNOC Pro League and was a historic moment for Al Ain, scoring twice against Shabab Al Ahli in league play for the first time since September 2018.
In the second half, Shabab Al Ahli rallied, seeking to narrow Al Ain's lead. A glimmer of hope shone in the 53rd minute when Mateus Lima broke through for a one-on-one confrontation with Al Ain's goalkeeper, Khalid Eisa. However, the latter's remarkable save kept Al Ain firmly in the lead.
The final nail in the coffin came in the 82nd minute when Al Ain was awarded a penalty. Laba Kodjo stepped up and expertly converted the chance, notching his fifth goal against Shabab Al Ahli in the league and sealing the deal for Al Ain.