Al Ain striker Asamoah Gyan reckoned it will be a ‘special’ game against Al Ahli in the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League.
Al Ain topped Group B after a 3-0 win over debutants Naft Tehran on Wednesday night and that meant they will meet the runners-up from Group D.
‘The Boss’ will square off against the Red Knights in the first leg at the Rashid Stadium on May 20 and Gyan said it will be a very competitive game.
“It is going to be a very special match. We know each other and it will be very, very competitive. Definitely, one has to qualify. We have to make sure we just keep our composure and see after the two legs, who will qualify,” Gyan said. “We are playing against a team who knows us very well. But we have to just stay focussed and play,” he added.
Al Ain and Al Ahli have played each other a number of times in domestic competitions and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses inside out. And Gyan said that would be the case especially, in this day and age of technology where one can study their opponents.
“In football now, people watch videos and do a lot of tactics and things. People might make mistakes in a game. You cannot stay focussed for the whole 90 minutes. You are bound to make mistakes. So, it is up to the team to make sure we capitalise on our chances and that is what we are going to do in the next game,” said the Ghanain ace.
The build-up to the game has already begun and while fans are terming it a difficult game, Gyan said it could be otherwise as well.
“It depends. Sometimes people think it is difficult but you never know. What we have to do is we have to keep on winning till the end of the competition,” the former Sunderland striker said.
Al Ain had already qualified for the next stage and could have taken it easy but Gyan said it was vital to finishing off with a victory and top the group as it would help them carry on the momentum.
“We are happy for the qualification. Although we knew that we had already qualified to the next stage of the competition, we wanted to stay on top and to keep on doing well. We wanted to maintain the momentum. It was the finishing touches to the group stage,” said Gyan.
“The most important thing is to keep winning. As a big team like Al Ain, that is what we need to do. When the going gets tough, we have to find a way to win,” he added.
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