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Al-Ain ease into Asian Champions League last-16


Al-Ain have become the first team to book a place in the Asian Champions League last-16, the former winners beating Saudi Arabia's Al-Fayha 3-2 to maintain their perfect start to this season's competition.

The United Arab Emirates side have 12 points from their first four games and are guaranteed to finish top of Group A despite having two matches to play, after nearest rivals Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan drew 1-1 with Turkmenistan's Ahal.

The draw means both teams have four points and are battling for second place in the group.

Only the winners of the competition's 10 groups are sure to make the knockout rounds, while the three runners-up from the western and eastern halves with the best records also progress.

Melbourne City, who have two wins and a draw in their three games so far, host Thailand's Buriram United on Wednesday night in a bid to extend their lead at the top of Group H.

In Al-Ain, Kodjo Laba gave the hosts a two-goal lead by the 40th minute before Anthony Nwakaeme reduced the deficit eight minutes into the second half.

Soufiane Rahimi restored his side's cushion in the 64th minute before Muhannad Al Qaydhi's grabbed a late consolation for the hosts six minutes into added time.

In Group E, Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassr brushed off the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo to beat Qatar's Al-Duhail thanks to Andersen Talisca's hat-trick.

Luis Castro's side recovered from conceding an early Philippe Coutinho goal to secure a 3-2 win.

Al-Nassr have 12 points from four games, leaving them five clear of Persepolis after the Iranians drew 1-1 with Istiklol of Tajikistan in Dushanbe.

The results mean Istiklol and Al-Duhail cannot qualify for the knockout rounds.