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Jeddah: Khamis Esmail claimed a crucial away goal for Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates as Cosmin Olaroiu’s side earned a 1-1 draw with Al Ahli Saudi at King Abdullah Sports City in the first leg of the 2017 AFC Champions League Round of 16 clash on Monday.

Esmail netted in the 20th minute to put his side in front after the home defence failed to clear Everton Ribiero’s free kick, but Abdulfattah Asiri levelled the scores 18 minutes later to leave the tie finely poised ahead of next week’s return meeting in Dubai.

Al Ahli Saudi dominated possession but went behind just before the midway point in the opening half when Esmail’s scuffed shot from just inside the area deflected off the outstretched leg of Al Ahli Saudi goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem and bounced into the goal.

Asiri, however, scored a fine equaliser seven minutes before the break when he latched on to Mohamed Abdelshafi’s through ball to smash his shot into the bottom corner as Christian Gross’ team claimed a deserved draw.

Photo: Lagardère Sports



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