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AFC Champions League: Al Ain 1-1 Zob Ahan - Ismail Ahmed rescues a point for 2016 runners-up logo 22-02-2017

Al Ain finished as runners-up in the 2016 AFC Champions League (ACL) and their 2017 campaign endured a disappointing start on Tuesday night.

The UAE giants were made to settle for a share of the spoils against Iranian side Zob Ahan as the Group C encounter ended in a 1-1 draw at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium.

The home team enjoyed 72 per cent of possession and mustered 24 shots compared to Zob Ahan's three but could only manage a point.

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However, it could have been even worse for the hosts. Despite dominating proceedings, they struggled to take their chances and that allowed the visitors to draw first blood.

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Jerry Bengtson gave the Iranians the lead against the run of play in the 57th minute when he slid in to score from close range.

Having been sucker-punched, Al Ain pushed forward and needed Ismail Ahmed to draw them level. The UAE international met Bandar Mohamed’s delivery from a corner and powered home a header past Mahammadrashid Mazaheri in the Zob Ahan goal with 14 minutes to play.

Al Ain will face Bunyodkor in their next group game on February 28.

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