Al Hilal players celebrate the victory over Al Sadd, Photo courtesy of AFC Champions League Twitter
CAIRO – 24 October 2019: Al Hilal secured a spot at the AFC Champions League final after they defeated Qatar’s Al Sadd 6-4 on aggregate at the semi-finals and they will face Japanese giants, Urawa Red Diamonds.
“We should be comfortable now after the big pressure and stress that we had in the match. We should start thinking of the final as of tomorrow and we must prepare well because we want to win the title.” Al Hilal manager, Răzvan Lucescu, said after the game.
This final will be a repeat of 2017 AFC Champions League final, when Al Hilal lost to Urawa Red Diamonds following a 1-1 draw in Riyadh and a 1-0 victory for the Japanese team in Saitama.
AL Hilal, nicknamed 'Al Zaeem' or The Boss, reached the competition’s final in six occasions but they only managed to secure the title twice, one of them was against Japan’s Júbilo Iwata in 2000 to become the continent’s champions for the second time.
Al Hilal lost three finals to Japanese teams, Furukawa Electric FC in 1986, Yomiuri FC in 1987 as well as the 2017 Final to Urawa Red Diamonds while their fourth loss came in 2014 against Australia’s Western Sydney Wanderers FC.
The Saudi team will count on the two high profile attacking players, Sebastian Giovinco and Bafétimbi Gomis, as well as the local stars, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Salem Al-Dawsari and Salman Al-Faraj, to secure third title at the competition.