2019 Final: The Stats Wrap
Kuala Lumpur: The 2019 AFC Champions League final between Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds is drawing ever closer, with the first leg set to take place in Riyadh on Saturday.
It has been well documented that the tournament’s 10-goal leading scorer Bafetimbi Gomis of Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds’ Shinzo Koroki (eight goals) are battling out for the top scorer accolade, but there are plenty more interesting numbers across the pitch.
Ahead of the first leg of the showpiece event at King Saud University Stadium, the-AFC.com has picked out 10 stats and facts to whet your appetite.
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Sebastian Giovinco has created more chances (24) than any other player who will take to the pitch on Saturday, while three of those have ended up as assists for Al Hilal goals.
The Italian is joint-fourth in chances created over the course of the tournament but remains some way behind the leading duo of Al Ittihad’s Carlos Villanueva and Shanghai SIPG’s Oscar, both of whom have 33 to their name.
When it comes to duels and tackles won, Ewerton is not only top of the pile among the Urawa and Al Hilal players, but also out in front for the whole tournament.
His 89 duels won put him three ahead of teammate Tomoaki Makino, while 23 tackles won see him marginally above Al Sadd’s Gabi (22). Yasser Al Shahrani (58 duels won) and Kanno (15 tackles won) are the frontrunners for the Saudi side.
In addition, the Brazilian's 516 successful passes (three ahead of Al Hilal's Ali Al Bulayhi) and 788 touches (Al Shahrani has 749) mean he has seen more of the ball than any of the other players who will be on display in Riyadh.
Despite playing just eight of his side’s 12 games, Al Hilal winger Salem Al Dawsari is out in front in terms of dribbles completed, with the Jeddah native’s 24 putting him nine ahead of Peruvian teammate Andre Carrillo (15). Fabricio (11) is Urawa’s leader in that category but sits some way back.
It is Pakhtakor’s Jaloliddin Masharipov, however, who leads the way. The Uzbek international completed an impressive 36 dribbles in just six games before his side exited at the group stage following a last-gasp defeat by Al Ahli.
🌪️ Salem Al Dawsari:— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) November 5, 2019
⚡️ More dribbles completed (2⃣4⃣) than any player who will feature at the 2019 Final
⚽️🅰️⚽️ in last 3⃣ #ACL2019 matches#ACLFinal | @Alhilal_FC | @salem_d29 pic.twitter.com/NNbN0W1xjd
Talismatic centre-back Makino has won the highest number of aerial duels of the finalists. 48 times he has been successful in the air, 12 more than teammate Daiki Hashioka (36) and well over double the number recorded by Al Hilal’s Mohamed Kanno (20).
There’s a high chance that come November 24 Makino will top this list, with former Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors striker Kim Shin-wook (55) and Shandong Luneng’s Graziano Pelle (52) the only two players above the Urawa man.
West vs East
Although meetings between West and East Asia are rare in the AFC Champions League, it is Urawa who boast a far stronger record in the few matches the sides have played against opposition from the other side of the Continent.
In six games against sides from West Asia, the Saitama team have won three, drawn two and lost one (to Kuwait's Qadsia SC in the first leg of the 2008 quarter-finals).
Conversely, in Al Hilal's six matches against sides from East Asia, they have lost four and drawn two, while the only game they have scored in was the first leg of the 2017 final against Urawa.
While Al Hilal have never won the AFC Champions League, they are the most successful side in Asian club football, boasting six titles to their name.
The Riyadh team won the Asian Club Championship in 1991 and 2000, the Asian Cup Winners' Cup in 1997 and 2002 and the Asian Super Cup in 1997 and 2000. No other side comes close to matching that number.
By comparison, the two AFC Champions League titles Urawa have in their trophy cabinet represent the only times the Saitama side have tasted Asian glory.
Unsurprisingly, the competition's top marksman Gomis leads the way in terms of shots on goal (28) and shots on target (16), with Koroki (20 and 12) number one in both departments for Urawa.
Al Sadd's Baghdad Bounedjah (36 and 18) is out in front for the tournament as a whole, but the Algerian has been far from prolific this year, with just three goals in his 11 games.
Gomis may have a huge height advantage over Urawa’s top scorer Koroki, but it is the Japanese striker who has so far proved more effective in the air. Four of the Japanese striker’s goals have come with his head, compared to just one for Gomis.
Indeed, Koroki’s headed goals tally is above everyone else who has played in the 2019 competition as he sits one in front of Kim Shin-wook, Guangzhou’s Anderson Talisca and Marouane Fellaini of Shandong.
Al Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah Al Mayouf’s 31 saves is three above the 28 of his Urawa counterpart Shusaku Nishikawa – who will miss the first leg through suspension – although the Japanese custodian has kept six clean sheets compared to the Saudi stopper’s four.
Al Mayouf’s save tally is the third highest in the competition, nine behind Shanghai SIPG ‘keeper Yan Junling’s 40, but the Saudi international has made more catches (8) than any other ‘keeper.
They may be the two finalists, but both Urawa and Al Hilal have been far from unbeatable in the 2019 competition, with the pair each losing three of their 12 games leading up to the showpiece event.
Al Hilal lost to Esteghlal in the group stage, before suffering home defeats to Al Ahli and Al Sadd in the knockout rounds, while Urawa were twice beaten by Jeonbuk in the group stage and lost the first leg against Ulsan Hyundai in the last 16.
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