Al Ain secured a spot in the Asian Champions League final for the first time since 2005 after scoring a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw against El Jaish on Tuesday.
Mohamed Abdulrahman’s equalizer four minutes into stoppage time gave the United Arab Emirates’ club a 5-3 win on aggregate.
The 2003 champions will face a South Korean club in next month’s final, with Jeonbuk Motors taking a 4-1 lead into its return match against K-League rival FC Seoul on Wednesday.
Al Ain coach Zlatko Dalic said his team grew in confidence after a scoreless first half in Doha, maintaining the two-goal buffer from its 3-1 win at home in the opening leg of the semifinals.
“Our opening goal then increased our enthusiasm and determination and put more pressure on El Jaish,” he said. “Qualifying for the final is a big achievement for us and is the fruit of the great effort that we have put in during the entire year.”
Omar Abdulrahman scored the opener for Al Ain but Brazilian midfielder Romarinho netted twice to give El Jaish a 2-1 lead and the momentum with 10 minutes remaining. Mohamed Abdulrahman ensured the semifinal series wouldn’t go to penalties when he scored late for the visitors.