Doha: Ghanaian star Asamoah Gyan scored as former champions Al Ain of the UAE stormed into the last four of the Asian Champions League with an emphatic 3-1 win over Saudi giants Al Ittihad in Mecca in their quarter-final second leg match on Tuesday.
Following their 2-0 win at home last week, Al Ain made light of the two-time Asian champions` challenge for a 5-1 aggregate victory which put them on course for a shot at their second continental title after becoming the first UAE side to win the lucrative tournament in 2003.
The prolific Gyan, Omar Abdulrahman and Diaky Ibrahim struck for the winners after an own goal by Al Ain`s Ismael Ahmed had given Al Ittihad an unlikely 36th minute lead following a failed attempt to clear the ball from his penalty area.
However, Al Ain shrugged off the setback four minutes letter when Gyan trapped a pass from Miroslav Stoch on the edge of the penalty area and fired home.
Al Ain took the lead in the 66th minute through Abdulrahman who grabbed a long pass from the goalkeeper to fire the ball easily past Ittihad goalkeeper Fawaz al-Karni.
Diaky Ibrahim then put the result beyond doubt with an 83rd minute strike from an assist by Stoch
Earlier, Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal survived a couple of late scares from former champions Al Sadd of Qatar to advance to the semi-finals with a 1-0 aggregate in Doha.
Last week Al Hilal had beaten Al Sadd 1-0 thanks to a goal from Salman al-Faraj.
"We missed a lot of chances, especially the one by our young striker Saleh al-Yazidi," said Al Sadd coach Hussain Ammota.
"In a tough match like this where the chances were rare, we had to convert the ones we got," he added.
Hilal coach Laurentin Reghecamph said that in the end it was the stronger team which progressed.
"We showed our level in the game. We are a strong team and deserve to be in the semifinals," he said.
"Before the match I spoke to the players and told them to be focused on our game plan and not to cut our opponents any slack. Our team did that and we came out on top," the Romanian added.