Last year’s beaten finalists Al Ain cruised into the quarter-finals of the 2017 AFC Champions League on Monday with a comprehensive 6-1 thrashing allowing Zoran Mamic’s side to brush aside the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Esteghlal and advance to the next round.
Caio and Omar Abdulrahman both scored twice as Al Ain bounced back from their 1-0 first leg defeat in Iran to notch up a 6-2 aggregate win and signal their intent as the competition breaks for the summer.
After the game, Abdulrahman revealed that the players had vowed to come back strong after the 1-0 defeat in Tehran and qualify for the next round.
"We vowed as players in the locker room at the Azadi Stadium last week, that we would be celebrating qualification to the next round with our fans after the return leg," the AFC Player of the Year said.
While being pleased with the team's progress to the quarter-finals, Abdulrahman insists that they are not satisfied given their disappointment in the domestic competitions this season.
"We qualified thanks to the efforts of everyone and made six goals. To end the season by reaching the quarter-finals of the strongest tournament on the continent is positive but it is not consistent with the ambitions of the club," he explained.
"We used to get to this point in several seasons ago and the real achievement for The Eye is to strengthen the balance of local and continental tournaments," he added.