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Al Dhafra 4–3 Al Ain: Clottey hat-trick inspires victory

Al Dhafra came from a goal down to triumph 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller against Al Ain at the Hamdan bin Zayed Stadium in Round 3 of the Arabian Gulf League on Saturday evening. A stunning second half hat-trick from substitute Emmanuel Clottey and a goal from Makhete Diop secured all three points for Al Dhafra, whilst Al Ain suffered their second defeat of the League season despite a Michel Bastos goal and a double from Asamoah Gyan.

Al Ain opened the scoring in the 9th minute as a superb chipped ball from Omar Abdulrahman found Michel Bastos on the left, and the Brazilian summer signing struck powerfully with his left foot into the roof of the net to make it 1-0 with his first League goal. Asamoah Gyan tried to add to the scoring and Ahmed Al Shamisi saw a rasping effort rise over the crossbar, but in the 38th minute Al Dhafra came close to equalising as Mohanad Salem’s defensive header hit is own crossbar. Al Dhafra’s Hassan Zahran did well to block Mohammed Abdulrahman’s goalbound strike two minutes before half time, and a long-range shot from Abdulsalam Jumaa had Khalid Essa scrambling across his Al Ain goal, but the effort was wide of the target.

Al Dhafra were back on level terms less than ten minutes after the restart as half-time substitute Emmanuel Clottey, on for Ali Al Hammadi, headed home a Makhete Diop cross from the left in the 54th minute to make it 1-1. Clottey was quickly at the double, netting again with a header from a Kamel Chafni corner in the 62nd minute to put Al Dhafra 2-1 in front, and six minutes later Al Dhafra looked to have completed the turnaround by going 3-1 ahead as Makhete Diop squeezed a right-footed strike into the net past Khalid Essa in the 68th minute. Al Ain did not give up and began the fight-back with Asamoah Gyan finding the net twice to bring the scores back to 3-3. Gyan’s first goal was a header from a Khaled Abdulrahman cross from the left in the 72nd minute, and his second came with a right-footed finish from an Omar Abdulrahman corner to get back on level terms. But Al Ain suffered a killer blow in the 85th minute as substitute Clottey completed his hat-trick to give Al Dhafra a stunning 4-3 victory.