Football: Saudi’s Al Hilal beat Japan’s Urawa to win Asian club title for record-matching third time

SAITAMA, JAPAN (AFP, REUTERS) – Salem Al-Dawsari and Bafetimbi Gomis were the heroes as Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal beat Urawa Red Diamonds 2-0 on Sunday (Nov 24) and 3-0 on aggregate to claim a record-equalling third Asian club title in the AFC Champions League.

Al-Dawsari scored with 16 minutes left at Saitama Stadium and Gomis grabbed his 11th of the competition in injury time, as the Saudi giants ended a 19-year wait for their third continental trophy, joining South Korea's Pohang Steelers as the only three-time Asian champions.

The two-legged tie was a repeat of the 2017 final which Urawa won.

It was Al Hilal's first Asian Champions League title since the competition was launched in 2002 and their third in the continent's premier club competition after victories in the Asian Club Championship in 1991 and 2000.

They also become the first team from the west of the continent to claim the title since Qatar's Al Sadd in 2011 and they are the first club from Saudi Arabia to be crowned Asian champions since the second of Al Ittihad's back-to-back successes in 2005.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg with Peru international Andre Carrillo's goal, Al Hilal set out to frustrate the Japanese side with a well-drilled defence that allowed the home team few chances.

Takahiro Sekine should have finished off a fine attacking move down the Urawa left that the wing-back started himself while Takuya Aoki's attempt from distance was high and wide.

Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa, who missed the first leg due to suspension, kept his team in the game when hRead More – Source

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