Saitama: The AFC Champions League™ 2022 drew to a thrilling close on Saturday as Urawa Red Diamonds edged Al Hilal SFC 1-0 at Saitama Stadium to claim a 2-1 aggregate victory and be crowned continental champions for the third time.
In a tense second leg it was Urawa who made the breakthrough early in the second half when Andre Carrillo’s unfortunate own goal proved the only goal of the game as the J1 League side delighted a home support that had created an atmosphere worthy of the occasion.
As fans of Asian football now start to look forward to the AFC Champions League 2023-24 campaign later in the year, the-AFC.com highlights some of the numbers that caught the eye on a special night in Saitama.
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds defender Alex Scholz paid tribute to former head coach Ricardo Rodriguez after the Japanese club defeated defending champions Al Hilal SFC to win the AFC Champions League™ for a third time at Saitama Stadium 2002 on Saturday.
Rodriguez guided Urawa through the group phase and the knockout rounds last year, securing the team a place in the final with a shoot-out win over Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors before leaving the club at the end of last season after a disappointing J.League campaign
The Spaniard has since been replaced by Poland’s Maciej Skorza, who masterminded the 2-1 aggregate win over the Saudi Arabian side after instilling a newly positive atmosphere within the Urawa squad.
Skorza credits hard work for Urawa’s amazing triumph
Saitama: Head coach Maciej Skorza revealed that hard work and dedication were the reasons behind Urawa Red Diamonds lifting the AFC Champions League™ 2022 title on Saturday.
An own goal from Andre Carrillo in the second half sealed Urawa a 2-1 aggregate win over defending champions Al Hilal SFC of Saudi Arabia as the Japanese side became the first team to win the trophy for a third time in the AFC Champions League era.
Saitama: Head coach Ramon Diaz wants Al Hilal SFC to bounce back from their AFC Champions League™ 2022 disappointment by challenging for the title again next season.
Al Hilal’s bid for a third title in four seasons was denied by Urawa Red Diamonds on Saturday, with the Japanese side carving a 1-0 win in the second leg for a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Al Hilal had started the match positively, with the experienced trio of Abdullah Al Hamdan, Odion Ighalo and Michael leading their charge but failure to convert their chances cost the Saudi Arabia side dearly at the Saitama Stadium 2002.