Kuala Lumpur: With two weeks between the first and second legs of the 2019 AFC Champions League final, the Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds players have had plenty of time to ponder the return meeting at Saitama Stadium.
While some have been away on international duty, others have remained with their club sides and have enjoyed some free time, with trips abroad, music gigs and pet play all featuring in the-AFC.com's latest social wrap.
2019 Final, 1st Leg – Toyota Player of the Week: Mohammed Al Burayk
Kuala Lumpur: Mohammed Al Burayk has been named as the Toyota Player of the Week for the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League final after the full-back put in a standout display in Al Hilal’s 1-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds at Riyadh’s King Saud University Stadium.
Appearing in his second final in three years, Al Burayk delivered a perfect cross for Andre Carrillo to head home the only goal of the game on the hour mark as the hosts ensured they will start the second leg in Saitama with a slender advantage.
Al Burayk, who was also the Toyota Player of the Week for the second leg of the final two years ago, created two chances for his teammates and made 61 successful passes.
The Saudi Arabia international scored a rating of 8.2 and the clean sheet means, unlike in 2017, they travel to Japan without having conceded an away goal.
Peruvian Andre Carrillo (below) came next on the list after the his goal proved the difference between the two sides, although he can also point to a stellar all-round performance.
Kuala Lumpur: As expected, the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League final left plenty of talking points after Al Hilal controlled the game yet only managed a 1-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds.
That leaves the showpiece event perfectly poised ahead of the return meeting at Saitama Stadium on November 24 and both teams seem relatively happy with the scoreline. Here's what those involved had to say.
Kuala Lumpur: Al Hilal dominated the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League final against Urawa Red Diamonds on Saturday but, after missing a number of excellent chances, will travel to Japan with only a 1-0 lead to defend.
With the international break to take centre stage over the next week before the return meeting at Saitama Stadium on November 24, the-AFC.com looks back at the facts and figures that caught the eye at Riyadh's King Saud University Stadium.
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds defender Tomoaki Makino has admitted that the 1-0 loss to Al Hilal in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League final was a good result for the Japanese side after they had to withstand intense pressure in Riyadh.
In a repeat of the 2017 final which Urawa won 2-1 on aggregate after drawing the first leg 1-1 in the Saudi capital, it was Al Hilal who controlled the vast majority of the game, recording 22 shots to the J.League club’s two.
But Al Hilal only have one goal to show for their dominance, with Andre Carrillo’s 60th-minute header the only time the visiting defence was breached as the 1-0 scoreline leaves the contest intriguingly balanced ahead of the return meeting at Saitama Stadium on November 24.
Riyadh: Al Hilal midfielder Mohammad Al Shalhoub is adamant his side needs the same level of preparation and performance to finish the job, following their 1-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League final on Saturday.
Al Shalhoub was an unused substitute as Al Hilal narrowly edged their visitors thanks to an Andre Carrillo header in the second half, and the two sides lock horns again in two weeks’ time for the title decider in Saitama.