Caio Fernandes scored twice and assisted once as Al Ain defeated Sharjah 4-1 at Khalid bin Mohammed Stadium in matchweek 1 of the Arabian Gulf Cup Group B.
The game started off in electrifying fashion as the referee awarded Al Ain a penalty kick in the ninth minute, after Mohamed Al Shehhi tacked Jamal Maroof inside the box. Caio sent the ball home from the spot.
Sharjah responded in the 22nd minute, as Igor Coronado sent an in-swinging cross from a corner kick for Brazilian striker Welliton Soares, whose powerful header cannoned off the crossbar.
Caio doubled his tally in the 35th minute, as Maroof advanced into Sharjah’s box and squared for the Brazilian, whose low strike left the King’s goalkeeper Ahmad Juma helpless, making it 2-0 going into halftime.
Al Ain’s number 7 then turned from scorer to creator, when he sent an accurate low cross to Tsukasa Shiotani, who tapped in a simple ball past Juma from a close range for his side’s third of the night in the 77th minute.
Just two minutes later, Coronado pulled one back for the home side, as he got at the end of a deflected cross, and cleverly converted the ball into the back of the Al Ain’s net.
In the dying moments of the game, Maroof got one against his former club to round off the scoring, as Juma failed to save his powerful right footed shot.
Al Ain sit second in Group B with three points ahead of next week’s clash against Al Nasr. Meanwhile, Sharjah occupy the fifth group spot with no points and will wait out matchweek 2, before facing Al Nasr in matchweek