Asian Champions League: Al Ain beat Al Ittihad in 2nd leg - Emirates24|7

Asian Champions League: Al Ain beat Al Ittihad in 2nd leg

Al Ain's defender Ismail Ahmed fights for the ball with an al-Ittihad's player during their AFC Champions League football match UAE's al-Ain versus Saudi al-Ittihad at the King Abdulaziz Sport City on August 26, 2014 in Mecca. (AFP)

Al Ain advanced to the semifinals of the Asian Champions League for the first time in nine years after the United Arab Emirates club beat Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad 3-1 in a near-empty King Abdulaziz Sport City on Tuesday.

Due to crowd problems during Al Ittihad's round of 16 victory over Saudi rivals Al Shabab, the home side was ordered by the Asian Football Confederation to play the match without spectators.

Trailing 2-0 after the first leg, Al Ittihad scored in the 35th minute after Ismail Ahmed turned a cross by Marquinho into his own net. But Asamoah Gyan scored for his tournament-leading 12th goal before Omar Abdulrahman and substitute Ibrahim DIaky added goals in the second half to make it 5-1 on aggregate.

Al Ain, the winners of the inaugural AFC Champions League tournament in 2003, will face Saudi club Al Hilal in the last four. Al Hilal and Qatari club Al Sadd played to a scoreless draw Tuesday, with Al Hilal advancing 1-0 on aggregate.

Al Hilal will host the first leg of the AFC West semifinals on Sept 16, with the second leg set for Sept 30 in the United Arab Emirates.

The East semifinalists will be decided Wednesday. FC Seoul hosts the Pohang Steelers in an all-South Korean match after the teams played to a scoreless draw in the first leg last week.

In the other quarterfinal, defending ACL champion Guangzhou Evergrande hosts Western Sydney Wanderers from Australia with the Chinese side trailing 1-0 after the first leg.

Evergrande coach Marcello Lippi was provisionally suspended for one match for confronting a referee during the loss in Sydney. Lippi, who coached Italy to the World Cup title in 2006, will be banned from sitting in the dugout during Wednesday's match.

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