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Villanueva: Al Ittihad cannot make mistakes against Al Hilal

Saturday, September 14, 2019
27 – Carlos Villanueva created a weekly high six chances, with one assist, as the Al Ittihad man moved up to 27 for the 2019 campaign, just two behind Shanghai SIPG's Oscar.

Jeddah: Midfielder Carlos Villanueva has cautioned Al Ittihad they can't afford to errors against Al Hilal SFC when the two Saudi Arabia clubs face off in the second leg of their 2019 AFC Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

The last eight tie is finely poised after the first leg of the 'Saudi Clasico' ended 0-0 three weeks ago and Chilean Villanueva, speaking after Al Ittihad fell to a shock 2-1 defeat to Damac in the Saudi Pro League on Friday, said the Jeddah-based club can't afford a similar performance against Al Hilal.

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“We must learn from this lesson,” said Al Ittihad captain Villanueva. “We made two big mistakes today (against Damac) that cost us the match.

“Against Al Hilal, we must avoid making such mistakes."

The talismanic midfielder, however, urged his teammates to forget the defeat and focus on Al Hilal.

"Now we must turn the page and focus on the quarter-final against Al Hilal. It will be a difficult match although we believe in our chances of going through.”

Quarter-final - 1st Leg: Al Ittihad vs Al Hilal SFC

The first leg didn't live up to its hype but, with a place in the semi-finals to be decided on Tuesday at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, both sides will be aiming for an early goal to boost morale in what will surely be a tight encounter between two domestic rivals.

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