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Proud Lucescu hails his Al Hilal players

Riyadh: Al Hilal SFC head coach Răzvan Lucescu said his side should be proud with what they have achieved after reaching the 2019 AFC Champions League final on Tuesday.

Al Hilal came close to losing their 4-1 advantage from the semi-final, first leg but goals from Salem Al Dawsari and Bafetimbi Gomis secured the Saudi Arabia club a 6-5 aggregate win and a place in the final against either Guangzhou Evergrande or Urawa Red Diamonds.

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Romanian Lucescu said Al Hilal achieved what they wanted and should be proud despite the 4-2 defeat to Qatar's Al Sadd at the King Saud University Stadium.

“There is a saying which says that you should be happy with what you have achieved and therefore, we must be happy for reaching the final,” said Lucescu.

“We should be comfortable now after the big pressure and stress that we had in the match. We should start thinking of the final as of tomorrow and we must prepare well because we want to win the title.”

The 50-year-old coach said his players lost concentration after Al Sadd leveled the tie at 1-1.

“We had a great start to the match,” said Lucescu. “However, some players lost their concentration and this affected us. It was the same in the Round of 16 match against Al Ahli.

“The players were lost after we conceded the first goal and therefore, we conceded two quick goals afterwards,” he added. “This also happened towards the end of the match and we nearly lost all that we had achieved.”

Semi-final - 2nd Leg: Al Hilal SFC vs Al Sadd SC

The former Romania national team coach said Al Hilal must learn from their mistakes against Al Sadd to avoid repeating them in the final.

“Al Sadd had nothing to lose and they put us under a lot of pressure because they wanted to win while our players played with no pressure before we conceded three consecutive goals.

“The final will be totally different from the semi-final as it will be harder in different aspects,” concluded Lucescu as he set his eyes on the final, where Al Hilal will be hoping to come good after runners-up finishes in 2014 and 2017.

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