ACL final: Saudi’s Al Hilal take one goal lead to Japan for second leg

November 11 – Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal will take a one-goal advantage into the second leg of the AFC Champions League final in Japan in two weeks against Urawa Red Diamonds.

The Saudis beat Urawa 1-0 in front of a capacity crowd in the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh with a header from Andre Carrillo on 60 minutes.

The Saudis dominated a game in which they had 70% of possession and should have had more goals from their 22 shots – Urawa had just two. Carillo, nicknamed ‘the snake’ by Saudi fans, in particualr caused mayhem in the Japanese club’s defense.

Al Hilal were in the AFC Champions League final in 2014 and 2017 and both times were on top in their home tie. But both times they were unable to turn their dominance of the first legs into championship winning performances in the second tie.

The final leg of the final will be played in Saitama on November 24. Al Hilal will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself and that it will be third time lucky.

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