Players of Al Ain and Al Jazira in action during their Pro League Cup semi-final on Tuesday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Al Ain drew a 0-0 at home against Al Jazira in the second leg of the Pro League Cup semi-final on Tuesday, but the 1-1 draw in the first leg was enough to secure them a place in the final against Shabab Al Ahli.
The two teams were the inaugural winners of the competition, as Al Ain were crowned champions in 2009, while Al Jazira claimed the title in 2010.
This was the second encounter between the two sides in the Pro League Cup semi-finals after 2008-09 when Al Ain secured a 4-1 home win at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, before repeating a 1-0 victory at Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium, to reach the final against Al Wahda.
The hosts needed four minutes to threaten Al Jazira keeper Ali Khaseif, when Soufiane Rahimi's pinpoint low cross to the onrushing Jonatas Santos was saved.
Al Ain assumed complete control of the first half, missing some gilt-edged chances.
The Brazilian missed another real chance when he found himself through on goal, but his effort went just wide.
The Brazilian midfielder appeared as if he left his scoring boots at home and wasted another dangerous chance when he tried to beat the goalkeeper, but the ball went straight into Khaseif's arms.
In the second half, nothing changed and the hosts were the ones who had more of the ball and could have scored through Yehya Nader, who picked up Laba Kodjo's brilliant pass, but the former's effort was blocked by the Abu Dhabi side's defense.
At the hour-mark, the home side kept searching for breaking the deadlock as they came close to getting what they wanted when Mohamed Abbas launched a powerful shot from outside the box, which was brilliantly saved by Khaseif.
In the 67th minute, Ali Mabkhout’s outside-of-the-boot flick was acrobatically latched onto by Zayed Al Ameri, whose half-volley was then well saved by the Al Ain goalkeeper.
Around 15 minutes later, Cristian Guanca tried his luck with a long-range strike but his shot went inches wide of Khaseif's right post, which was the last big chance of the game that finished with a goalless draw.
Earlier, Thomas Olsen's brace helped Shabab Al Ahli book a seat in the final after defeating Al Wahda 3-1 in the second leg of the semi-final to secure a 4-1 aggregate win at Al Nahyan Stadium.
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