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Riyadh: On Saturday, Riyadh's King Fahd International Stadium will host the first leg of the 2017 AFC Champions League Final between Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds. 

Built in 1987 ahead of the FIFA World Youth Championships, the 67,000-capacity stadium has witnessed a number of classic encounters between various teams throughout its history. 

Ahead of the much-anticipated AFC Champions League showpiece, we take a look at five memorable Asian club matches that took place at this iconic venue.


Al Nassr v Suwon Samsung Bluewings (1997-98 Asian Cup Winners' Cup Final)

Its scoreline may not be extraordinary but this match will remain a cherished memory for Al Nassr fans for the fact that the club won their elusive first continental title. 

Playing in front of a roaring home crowd, Hristo Stoichkov gave Al Nassr the lead against Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the 11th minute.

That goal would prove to be the winner and club captain and legend Majed Abdullah lifted the trophy in his last appearance for Al Nassr.

Al Nassr thus qualified for and went on to win the Asian Super Cup before making the subsequent trip to Brazil for the 2000 FIFA Club World Championships - two achievements that have shaped the club's folklore.

Al Hilal v Jubilo Iwata  (1999-2000 Asian Club Championship Final)

In what could very well be described as 'the Sergio Ricardo final', Al Hilal won their second Asian Club Championship title at the King Fahd International Stadium on April 22, 2000. 

The Brazilian star endeared himself to the Al Hilal faithful with the performance of a lifetime in the final against defending champions Jubilo Iwata.

After his opening goal had been cancelled out by two Jubilo strikes, Sergio showed his worth at the very end of the game.

With one minute to go, he equalised for Al Hilal before finishing off a memorable comeback with a golden goal in extra time.

Al Shabab v Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma (2010 AFC Champions League Semi-final 1st Leg)

Although slightly less successful in Asia compared to their city rivals, Al Shabab have made regular appearances in continental competitions.

Their best achievement to date in the revamped AFC Champions League came in 2010, when they reached the semi-finals.

The first leg of the tie against Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma was played at the King Fahd International Stadium and it turned out to be a Champions League classic.

After the two teams traded two goals apiece, Mauricio Molina gave Seongnam a 3-2 lead going into the final 10 minutes.

However, Al Shabab turned the match around in incredible fashion with Juan Olivera's equaliser and substitute Sultan Al Faisal's last-gasp winner.

Al Hilal v Al Ain (2014 AFC Champions League Semi-final 1st Leg)

 

On their way to their first-ever AFC Champions League final in 2014, Saudi giants Al Hilal had to get past 2003 champions Al Ain in the semi-finals.

The first leg saw more than 57,000 expectant fans gather at the King Fahd International Stadium in an attempt to spur Al Hilal to create history.

After a slightly disappointing first half, the match came alive in the space of nine thrilling minutes in the second half. 

Nasser Al Shamrani netted a brace and Thiago Neves added a third goal to give the hosts a comfortable a 3-0 lead, that proved to be a gap too far for a stunned Al Ain side.

Al Hilal v Al Ahli (2015 AFC Champions League Semi-final 1st Leg)

The final entry on this list is from the semi-finals of the 2015 AFC Champions League, when Al Ahli manager Cosmin Olariu made a return to his former club Al Hilal.

The match was also made memorable by a second half penalty incident that could have changed the face of the tie.

Trailing 1-0 to Lima's 57th minute header, Al Hilal were awarded a penalty after Al Ahli's Salmin Khamis picked up the ball in the box thinking it had gone out.

Fortunately for Al Ahli and Khamis, Carlos Eduardo's spot-kick crashed off the post.

Although Ailton's equaliser saw the game end 1-1, Al Ahli went on to clinch the tie with a dramatic 3-2 win at home in the second leg.

Photos: Lagardère Sports

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