A dramatic final game of 2016 saw defending Arabian Gulf League champions Al Ahli fight back from a goal down and a man down to earn a point in a dramatic 1-1 draw against Al Ain at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium. The result of the rescheduled Round 3 fixture doesn't change much in the table, though, as Al Ain remain 3rd now with 27 points, whilst Al Ahli stay a point and place behind them on 26 in 4th.
During a goalless but hotly contested first half, it was Ahmed Khalil's 20th-minute free kick which came closest to breaking the deadlock as his curling effort was pushed round the top corner by a flying Khalid Eissa. An injury blow for Al Ahli saw combative midfielder Waleed Hussain forced off in the 34th minute, to be replaced by experienced defender Walid Abbas, but neither side could make a breakthrough before the interval.
Four minutes into the second half, play looked to be opening up nicely for Al Ain's Brazilian forward Douglas but a slip and air-kick meant his chance went begging. Majed Naser was forced into a tipping save in the 53rd minute as the hosts knocked on the door for the opening goal, but in the 65th minute the Al Ahli goalkeeper became the villain as he was shown a straight red card for a headbutt on Caio Lucas after a dispute about the Al Ain forward continuing towards goal despite play having been stopped. With the visitors down to 10 men, Ismaeel Alhamadi was the man sacrificed to bring on substitute goalkeeper Saif Yousuf. He made a crucial intervention soon after coming on to stop a goal-bound overhead kick from Mohanad Salem, but in the 77th minute his defence was breached as Al Ain's Bandar Alahbabi pinged a perfect cross from the right for Caio Lucas to head into the back of the net and make it 1-0, finally adding a goal to an already pulsating contest. Things were about to get even more exciting as the 10 men of Al Ahli defied the odds to find an equaliser in the 82nd minute; substitute Saeed Ahmed crossing from the right for Ahmed Khalil to have an initial shot on target blocked, but midfielder Habib Alfardan was in position at the back post to tap in from close range at 1-1 to earn a hard-fought point to close the calendar year.