Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Kuala Lumpur: Al Ain return to the quarter-finals of the AFC Champions League for the seventh time since the tournament’s launch in 2002, with the inaugural winners attempting to claim a second title 14 years after picking up their first crown.
The club’s relationship with the competition has been a successful one laced with frustration and disappointment as the team from the United Arab Emirates have twice gone close to claiming a second title.
Al Ain’s first – and so far only – win in the AFC Champions League came at the end of a campaign that saw them eliminate Al Hilal and Dalian Shide before winning 2-1 on aggregate over two legs against Thailand’s BEC Tero Sasana in thrilling fashion.
That success was Al Ain’s first at continental level and occurred four years after their previous best performance in an Asian club competition, when they reached the semi-finals of the Asian Club Championship in 1999.