Weather Forecast for Saturday    Tunisian Foreign Minister Meets with His Algerian Counterpart    Wall Street Closing    Semi-automated offside technology approved by FIFA for 2022 World Cup    Airport workers strike ground some flights in Paris    Deputy Foreign Minister Participates in Burundi's Celebration of 60th Independence Day    Over 344,000 Hajj pilgrims arrive in Madinah    Jordanian minister all praise for transport services offered to Hajj pilgrims    Hajj Ministry releases awareness guides in 14 languages    KSrelief Distributes 6,000 Cartons of Dates in Lahij Governorate, Yemen    GCC Secretary-General Praises Saudi Arabia's New Development Projects in Yemen    ETEC Obtains Membership of Washington Accord for Engineering Programs    CITC Publishes a Public Consultation on the Spectrum Use Regulation for Amateur Radio Services    Saudia Celebrates Launch of Seasonal Route From Riyadh to Mykonos    Saudi National Basketball Team Beats Indonesia in World Cup Qualifiers    KSA's Representative and Head of Donor Group to Support UN OCHA Participates in High-level Meeting of Donors in The Hague    EU agrees on landmark crypto regulation in wake of Terra meltdown, Bitcoin plunge    Ukraine war: '18 dead' as Russian missiles hit residential areas in Odesa    FBI adds missing Cryptoqueen to top ten most wanted    Saudi ministry updates rules allowing house workers to switch jobs without employer consent    Xi Jinping defends Chinese rule at Hong Kong handover anniversary    Saudi Arabia issues 80 mining licenses in May    Health and wellness on top of Saudi national priorities for research and development    Top retail professionals of the region honored at RetailME Summit    Saudi-French Coordination to Increase French Mining Investments in Saudi Arabia    Heritage Commission Signs Agreement with noon.com to Support Saudi Sellers, Local Crafts Sector    Five era-defining artworks commissioned for iconic new cultural destination 'Wadi AlFann'    Red Sea Fund Opens Its Third Cycle for Production Funding    SFDA warns against herbal product 'Montalin Jamu' due to containing active medicinal ingredients    SFDA Warns Against Herbal Product "Montalin Jamu" Due to Containing Active Medicinal Ingredients    Al-Hilal lifts MBS League title for 3rd time in a row, beating Al-Faisaly    Al-Ahli relegated for first time in history    Ithra expands 'iRead' competition to participants from all Arab countries    NEOM, McLaren Racing announce strategic title partnership to drive innovation in electric motorsport    Morocco and Iraq to the finals of Arab Futsal in Dammam on Tuesday    Saudi US Joint Exhibition on Photography Concludes in Tabuk    Venice-based art exhibition sheds light on upcoming Saudi talents    Makkah Municipality offers animal sacrifices permitting service through Baladi platform    First Saudi-American Joint Exhibition of Photography held in Tabuk Region    FIFA Accredits Saudi Football Association Among Expert Federations in VAR Tech    Jeddah is Set to Host the Finals of World Boxing in August, Organizers Announce    Samrat Prithviraj: Why did a Bollywood film on a popular Hindu king fail?    Saudi Council of Senior Scholars slams Indian ruling party leader's remarks against Prophet    Drug charges dropped against Shah Rukh Khan's son    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Hilal, Urawa gear up for Asia's ultimate club prize
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 11 - 2019

Premier soccer club Al Hilal hosts Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds in the first leg of the AFC Champions League on Saturday — a repeat of the 2017 — as they jostle for Asia's ultimate club prize.
Two years ago, the two sides finished 1-1 at King Fahd International Stadium, before Urawa snatched a 1-0 victory in the return leg in Saitama to lift the AFC Champions League trophy for the second time in their history.
Al Hilal have since moved base to King Saud University Stadium, where they welcome the Japanese side with both teams eyeing a result that can make their job less complicated when they lock horns again in the all-important return leg at the Saitama Stadium 2002 on Nov. 24.
For Al Hilal veteran Mohammed Al Shalhoub, who was remarkably part of the Al Hilal team that won the 1999-2000 Asian Club Championship, is a key player.
Although no longer an automatic starter, the 38-year-old's impact off the bench has been crucial. He has appeared in 11 of Al Hilal's 12 matches in the competition so far, scoring a goal every 78 minutes.
Amongst those more likely to start on Saturday, the strike partnership of Sebastian Giovinco and Bafetimbi Gomis is expected to deliver the goals that could bring them closer to Continental glory. Gomis is the competition's top scorer with 10 goals and scored in both legs of the semifinal.
The visitors from Japan have happy memories in the Saudi capital, and will be looking to replicate them as they aim to become the first-ever team to win the AFC Champions League three times.
Veteran goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa misses the first leg of the final through suspension, but the Urawa squad still has a few players from their most recent trip to Riyadh in the 2017 title-winning campaign including Kazuki Nagasawa and Tomoaki Makino.
But in skipper Yuki Abe, Urawa have a player who just like the club, aims to become a three-time AFC Champions League winner.
Having started every one of Urawa's 12 games en route to the final, 33-year-old Shinzo Koroki is still going strong and his influence at the club is as big as ever. The striker netted 42% of Urawa's 19 goals in the 2019 AFC Champions League. His eight goals put him just two behind the competition's top scorer Gomis.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa praised both teams for reaching the 2019 AFC Champions League final.
He said: "The AFC Champions League has seen many worthy champions emerge and football fans will once again be captivated by another much-anticipated final between Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds. I wish both teams the best of luck as they chase for a third AFC Champions League crown.
"The AFC is determined to build on the ever-growing popularity of the AFC Champions League which is now one of the most exciting club competitions in the world. This is the ideal stage for the Continent's top talents to shine and excite our fans, whose passion have made this year's competition truly memorable."
The winners will join Al Saad of Qatar in the FIFA Club World Cup to be played in Qatar between Dec. 11 and 21, 2019. Asian sides have an impressive record on the world stage with both Kashima Antlers from Japan and UAE's Al Ain finishing runners-up in the 2016 and 2018 editions of the FIFA Club World Cup. — Agencies


Clic here to read the story from its source.