Ghanaian World Cupper Asamoah Gyan and UAE ace midfielder Omar Abdul Rahman, whose combination was instrumental in Al Ain’s 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad in their AFC Champions League match-up, attributed the success to teamwork.
“It is not just about two men, it is about the entire team. People outside will have that opinion that if Omar and I play to the full potential we will win but that’s not the case,” said a beaming Gyan, who become the highest paid African player after he extended his contract with Al Ain till 2018.
"It is a team game and it has been a team effort that has got us this far.
Abdul Rahman not only mesmerised the fans with his ball skills but kept finding Gyan at will to leave the Al Ittihad defence in tatters.
Gyan was simply too good to miss out on a pinpointed lob from Abdul Rahman for his 11th goal of the continental tournament.
“Yes, we both understand each other’s game better. My job is to score and his job is to find me. But only if everyone else does their job well, will we win,” said the Ghana skipper.
“I’m really happy with my performance. I’m still scoring and that is the most important thing for a striker. The players have rallied around me and it is good to see the team in this position,” emphasised Gyan, who was also all praise for the new inclusions Frenchman Kembo Ekoko, Slovakian international Miroslav Stoch and South Korean Lee Myung-joo.
“All three have done well and adapted very quickly. Not at their 100 per cent but they have done well to adjust within the short time. When you are new in a country, it is difficult to adapt.
What matters is, we as seniors need to support them and make sure they do the right thing. As of now, they are moving forward,” said Gyan and sought to sound a word of caution that the return leg in Jeddah won’t be a cakewalk.
“It’s not going to be easy in Jeddah. We were very strong at home and when we go there, we have to make sure that we do all the normal things. We have to focus on the game and make sure that we qualify. They we will be strong at home and even if they don’t have their fans due to ban, they will come hard.”
Abdul Rahman too was elated with the team’s effort. “It was a strong performance from our team and I’m happy with the showing. We played as a strong unit but we will have to carry the form into the return leg,” he said.
The star playmaker also warned against taking things lightly against Al Ittihad in the return leg. “We have to respect our opponents. Just because we got this result doesn’t mean we can take them lightly. Even if they don’t have fans support, they will go all out against us and we have to be wary about it.”