Abu Dhabi: Al Ain defeated Shabab Al Ahli 5-4 on penalty shootouts to clinch their second Pro League Cup title after the final ended in a 2-2 draw at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium at Al Jazira Club in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, witnessed the final.
Shabab Al Ahli posed their first threat after only 19 minutes when Ahmad Nourollahi floated a cross into the area where Thomas Olsen climbed above Danilo Arboleda and powered a header, but Khalid Eisa brilliantly saved it.
Reigning champions Shabab Al Ahli opened the scoring in the 28th minute when Harib Abdalla Suhail swung in a cross from the left to Federico Cartabia on the edge of the penalty area, and the Argentinian met it with a first-time left-footed strike into the back of the net.
Eight minutes after the break, Laba Kodjo restored parity for Al Ain when the Togolese forward towered above Shabab Al Ahli defenders Mohammed Marzooq and Abdulaziz Hussain and headed in Bandar Al Ahbabi's cross.
Fifteen minutes from time, Erik Jorgens sent a brilliant cross to the unmarked Caio Canedo, who found it easy to head it into the net.
Cartabia equalised in the 81st, grabbing his brace when he stepped up to curl a superb free-kick into the top right corner of Eisa's net to make it 2-2.
Soufiane Rahimi wasted a big chance to score the winner when he was put through on goal but his poor finish was saved by Majed Nasser.
Al Ain's Rahimi missed from the spot while defenders Youssef Jaber and Abdulaziz Haikal missed their kicks for Shabab Al Ahli as Al Ain won their second title in the competition.
Shaikh Rashid Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, President of the UAE Football Association (UAEFA), gave away the trophy to Al Ain. Abdulla Nasser Al Jneibi, Senior Vice-President of the UAE Football Association, Chairman of the UAE Pro League; Dr Matar Al Darmaki, Chairman of the Board of Al Ain Football Club, in addition to Ibrahim Abdulmalik, Vice-President of Shabab Al Ahli Football Club, were also present.
A colourful laser show and fireworks acted as the prelude for the intense action to come on the field.