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Al Jazira vs. Al Ain AGCup: The Match Summary

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uae.agleague.ae: 28 August 2015
 
Al Ain came back from two goals down to share the points with Al Jazira in their opening Group B game in the Arabian Gulf Cup. Al Jazira had mounted a 2-0 lead through Mirko Vucinic and Thiago Neves at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, but a second-half fightback by Ryan Babel and Saeed Al Katheeri earned Al Ain a 2-2 draw in the derby. 
 
It took until the 20th minute to see the first two clear-cut chances of the game – both for Al Jazira – as Jefferson Farfan twisted and turned before firing a strike against the base of the far post, followed by Thiago Neves collecting the rebound and forcing a flying save from Al Ain goalkeeper Mahmoud Al Mas. By the 25th minute it was 1-0 via a free kick conceded by Khaled Abdulrahman for handling on the edge of the area under pressure from Musallem Fayez. Thiago Neves whipped in a left-footed set piece, and Mirko Vucinic’s cleverly-timed run left the predator unmarked in the box to chest the ball into the net. The next goal came right before the stroke of half time as a long ball from the back was picked up by Thiago Neves, who played a give-and-go with Mirko Vucinic, continuing his run to tap home the Montenegrin’s well-weighted cross to double the hosts’ advantage going into the break.
 
Into the second half a thunderous free kick from Al Ain’s Fellipe Bastos required an acrobatic save from Khalid Alsenaani to keep it out, and in the 65th minute Al Ain were handed a route back into the game as Juma Abdulla was penalized for a pull in the area, and Ryan Babel stepped up to dispatch an emphatic penalty kick into the back of the net to make it 2-1. Building on their momentum, Al Ain were level by the 74th minute as Rashid Essa pinged a fizzing cross into the box for substitute Saeed Al Katheeri to power a bullet header beyond Alsenaani and equalise at 2-2. In the 83rd minute the result was very nearly turned upside down as the lively Rashid Essa unleashed a rasping shot from range, which was deflected off Al Jazira defender Abdullah Mousa and onto the post, as both sides settled for a draw.