Beating Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 on aggregate, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal have won the 2019 Asian Champions League for the first time in its new system, after winning 2-0 in the second leg of the final in Japan at the Saitama Stadium 2002 on Sunday.
For the first time in eight years, a side from the west of Asia, Al Hilal lifts the trophy, breaking East Asia’s dominance in the final.
The first leg between the two sides at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh had finished 1-0 in the favor of hosts Al Hilal; the goal was scored by the Peruvian Andre Carrillo.
Al Hilal has already won the competition twice in its old system, while this is its first achievement in the new competition system after losing the final of 2014 and 2017.
Defensive prudence prevailed over both teams in the first half, especially from Urawa, who did not rush to the Al Hilal goal, while the guests appeared better, especially on the offensive level.
Al Hilal striker Baftimbi Gomez, who had a pass from his teammate Salim Al Dosari in the penalty area, had the first chance of the match but was caught by Japanese goalkeeper Nishikawa.
In the last quarter-hour, Al Hilal managed to dominate the match, which caused confusion for the Japanese defense, and almost caused a goal after the Peruvian Andrei Carrielo’s incursion into the penalty area and turning of the ball, but found the goalkeeper who hardly faced it.
In the 74th minute, Al Hilal confirmed their advantage in the game after Salim Al Dosari scored the first goal when he completed the pass of his Italian teammate Jovenko against goalkeeper Nishikawa.
Al Hilal continued its superiority and had a serious chance for Salem Al-Dosari who made a powerful shot from outside the penalty area but found goalkeeper Nishikawa who had a hard save.
In stoppage time, the French Baftembe Gomez scored the second goal after receiving a pass from his Peruvian teammate Carrio to put the ball into the net, So Al Hilal won the title and got qualified for the Club World Cup, which will be held in the Qatari capital in the middle of next month.