Khorfakkan got their Arabian Gulf Cup campaign off to a flying start, as they defeated Al Ain 4-2 at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Friday in the first leg of the playoff round held under the slogan “commit to win”.
The Boss had a golden chance to take an early lead, when they were awarded a penalty for a foul inside the box just 10 minutes into the game. Wilson Eduardo stepped up to the spot, but his shot went wide.
The guests took the lead in the 34th minute through Ivorian Kouame Autonne, who found Bruno Lamas’ freekick inside the box and calmly headed the ball into the back of the net to put Khorfakkan 1-0 up.
Just went it looked that Khorfakkan would be heading into the break with a 1-0 lead, Al Ain made a comeback during injury time, as Rafael Pereira headed the ball into Mohamed Abdulrahman’s path inside the box, and the latter made no mistake as he fired past Khorfakkan keeper Mohamed Yousif with a deft first touch to level the scoreline just before half time.
Khorfakkan couldn’t have asked for a better start to the second half as they scored two quick-fire goals just two minutes after the restart. Brazilian forward Antonio Valmor dribbled past Al Ain defense before scoring from just outside the box to regain Khorfakkan’s lead. Less than a minute later, the guests further extended their lead through second half substitute Omar Jumaa who sprinted inside the box before slotting home to make it 3-1.
Al Ain had a number of opportunities to reduce the deficit but chances from Wislon Eduardo couldn’t find the back of the net. They, however, made it 3-2 with 20 minutes to go, when Mohamed Shaker headed the ball down into Rafael Pereira’s path, and the Brazilian defender slotted home.
Khorfakkan’s response came around 10 minutes later, when second half sub Ramon Lopes headed home off Lamas' corner-kick to make it 4-2 for the guests.
In the dying moments of the game, Lopes had his header go just above the bar to miss the chance of netting his second goal of the night, as the game ended with a 4-2 win for Khorfakkan.
The second leg is scheduled to be held on November 13.