Quarter-final - 1st Leg: Al Ittihad (KSA) 0-0 Al Hilal SFC (KSA)
Jeddah: The first all-Saudi AFC Champions League quarter-final in history ended goalless as Al Ittihad and Al Hilal played out a 0-0 draw at King Abdullah Sport City Stadium in the first leg of their 2019 quarter-final on Tuesday.
Attacking intent was present at both ends of the pitch, but clear-cut chances were few and far between for either side.
Al Ittihad were hoping to get a first win over their arch rivals since 2016, while Al Hilal were determined to lay the foundations for a third semi-final appearance in the last five years.
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Spurred by almost 55,000 home fans, Al Ittihad looked to get an early opener and had their first chance through defender Ziyad Al Sahafi who headed Carlos Villanueva’s free-kick well over the crossbar inside two minutes.
Al Hilal had their first sight of goal in the 14th minute when Andre Carillo made his way into the opposition’s penalty box down the right before squaring for Bafetimbi Gomis who took it first time, but his strike sailed high.
FULL-TIME 🏁— AFC Champions League (@TheAFCCL) August 27, 2019
🇸🇦 Ittihad 0-0 Al Hilal 🇸🇦
The Saudi Classico ends it's 1st leg with a scoreless draw in front of 54,390 fans ⛔ we can't wait for the 17th of September 🔥#ITTvHIL #ACL2019 pic.twitter.com/dXzSfU1fsJ
Sebastian Giovinco tried his luck from distance after collecting a misplaced pass, but goalkeeper Fawaz Al Qarni had no trouble catching his low drive. The Italian then set up Salem Al Dawsari inside the box, but the winger struck straight at the goalkeeper when one-on-one.
Al Hilal came closest to opening the scoring two minutes before the end of the first half when Yassir Al Shahrani charged into the box then pulled the ball back for Al Dawsari who drilled a powerful effort towards the bottom corner. Al Qarni was alert and caught the ball at the second attempt.
Villanueva had a golden chance to break the deadlock six minutes after the resumption of play after collecting Khalid Al Samiri’s through pass and advancing through on goal, but the Chilean’s right-footed shot was saved by Abdullah Al Mayouf.
The hosts had to do without their star striker for the last 10 minutes as Romarinho was stretchered off and Abdulaziz Al Bishi was introduced in his place.
The two sides enjoyed similar levels of possession in the last section of the second half, but with little threat to goals as they wounded the clock down and settled for a goalless draw.
Al Hilal host Al Ittihad at King Saud University Stadium in the second leg on September 17 with the winners set for a semi-final clash with either Al Nassr or Al Sadd.
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