Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan scored a thunderous winner and helped to set up another goal to help Al Ain defeat mega-spending Qatari club Lekhwiya 2-1 in the Asian Champions League in the UAE on Wednesday night.
Ibrahim Diaky gave the hosts the lead in the 12th minute at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium but it did not prove to be a comfortable half with the Qataris finding an equaliser through Vladimir Weiss before the break.
Al Ain were much improved after the break and retook the lead when Gyan hammered home to give them their first win at their new stadium.
The home side opened the scoring when Yassine El Ghanassy won the ball in a tackle on the left flank, before finding Gyan in space who in turn picked out Mirel Radoi.
The Romanian hit a thunderous first-time drive from 20 yards that careered back off the post, and though, the rebound evaded Alex Brosque, Diaky was able to side-foot his side into the lead.
However there was nothing the UAE side could do as Weiss pulled Lekhwiya level with five minutes of the half remaining.
The Slovakian still had plenty of work to do having been found by the impressive Youssef Msakni, but he did it with aplomb as he turned inside Mohanad Salem and without breaking stride lofted a left-footed chip over the stranded goalkeeper Essa.
The mood did not lighten at half-time as cameras inside the ground panned to show the watching Omar Abdulrahman in the stands, but the Boss were more positive after the break.
Gyan fired an early warning shot but the hosts would have to survive two scares before retaking the lead.
The collective heart rate in the stadium was rising by the minute but within seconds of El Ghanassy setting pulses racing with a fine run and shot before Gyan restored his side’s lead.
The Ghanaian regained the lead with a rocket that hit the inside of the bar and slammed into the back of the net, thanks to a through pass from Ahmed Barman.
As Lekhwiya tried to clear their lines, Diaky nicked in before recycling the ball to Ahmed Barman before the young midfielder produced a fine through ball to set the Ghanaian racing through.
Gyan didn’t even need a touch as he powered a first-time effort from the edge of the 18-yard box past Lacomte to hand them the win in the Asian top-flight club competition.