AFC Champions League

AFC Champions League Final: 10 Facts and Figures

Friday, November 17, 2017

Riyadh: The 2017 AFC Champions League final is less than a day away, so join the-AFC.com as we look at the 10 facts and figures you should know before Saturday’s clash between Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds.


1. In reaching the AFC Champions League final Al Hilal (2017, 2014) and Urawa Red Diamonds (2017, 2007) join Seongnam FC (2010, 2004) and Guangzhou Evergrande (2015, 2013) as the clubs to appear in two continental conclusions. Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Al Ain and Al Ittihad lead the way with three appearances in the final of the AFC Champions League era.



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2. Woe betide the team that trails after Saturday’s game at the King Fahd International Stadium. Only one team, Al Ittihad in 2004, have recovered from a first leg deficit to lift the AFC Champions League trophy.



ACL FINAL: A LOOK BACK AT AL ITTIHAD'S INSPIRING 2004 COMEBACK WIN



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3. While the two clubs have never faced each other in the AFC Champions League, and Urawa have, in fact, never faced a Saudi team in continental competition, Al Hilal do have experience of playing Japanese teams at the highest level of the game.



In the late 1980s, the Riyadh club missed out on the 1986 and 1987 Asian Club Championship titles with Furukawa Electric and Yomiuri FC the beneficiaries. Since then Al Hilal have come out on top.



Victory over Nagoya Grampus in the 1996-1997 Asian Super Cup was followed by the 1999-2000 Asian Club Championship win over Jubilo Iwata and just eight months later that year the 2000 Asian Super Cup against Shimizu S-Pulse.



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4. Urawa coach Takafumi Hori could become just the second coach in the AFC Champions League era to win the Asian club title having also appeared for the team as a player (1992-1998). Current Korea Republic coach Shin Tae-yong was the first having led Seongnam FC to the title in 2010 following a celebrated playing career with the club.



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5. For the man at the Al Hilal helm, Ramon Diaz, the Argentine could become the first from his nation to coach a team to the AFC Champions League title.





He would also become the fourth winning coach from South America since the tournament revamp joining Brazilians Sergio Farias (2009) and Luiz Felipe Scolari (2015) and Uruguayan Jorge Fossati (2011).



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6. When playing their counterparts from the East, Al Hilal have an AFC Champions League record of played four, won none, drawn one, and lost three. Their most notable defeat to East Asian opposition came in 1 -0 defeat in the 2014 final against Western Sydney Wanderers.



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7. For Urawa, their AFC Champions League record against teams from the West stands at played four, won two, drawn one and lost one. Their most significant victory came over IR Iran’s Sepahan in the 2007 final.





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8. East Asia has dominated the trophy in the AFC Champions League era. Since the inaugural 2002-03 tournament, clubs from the East have been crowned Asian champions 10 times while those from the West have claimed four continental titles.



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9. The 2017 Final is set up to be host the highest combined attendance of any AFC Champions League final. With both stadia slated to sell-out, the cumulative gate is on track to break the 2013 record of 110,000 fans which was set by the fans of FC Seoul and Guangzhou Evergrande.





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10. The youngest person who could appear in the 2017 AFC Champions League final is Al Hilal’s Abdulrahman Al Yami who turned 20 years old in June. The oldest player is nearly 19 years his senior, Urawa veteran Tadaaki Hirakawa who turns 39 next May.