Riyadh: Al Hilal SFC returned home to a heroes' welcome after emerging the 2019 AFC Champions League winners on Sunday.
Thousands of fans greeted the squad upon their return to Riyadh after a 2-0 win in the second leg of the final at the Saitama Stadium on Sunday gave the Saudi Pro League side a 3-0 aggregate win over two-time AFC Champions League winners Urawa Red Diamonds.
2019 Final, 2nd Leg – Toyota Player of the Week: Salem Al Dawsari
Kuala Lumpur: Salem Al Dawsari has been named as the Toyota Player of the Week for the second leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League final after the winger scored the opener in Al Hilal’s 2-0 victory over Urawa Red Diamonds that secured the Continental title for the Saudi side.
It was a moment of sweet redemption for Al Dawsari, who had been sent off in the final two years ago against the same opponents. The Saudi Arabia international clipped home on 74 minutes from close range after smart inter-play from Salman Al Faraj and Sebastian Giovinco.
As well as his goal, Al Dawsari had four shots on target, created one chance for his teammates and made 25 successful passe to earn a 9.4 rating.
As he was in the first leg, Peruvian Andre Carrillo (below) comes next on the list after another impressive performance from the dynamic wide froward.
Saitama: Razvan Lucescu hailed his Al Hilal players as the club from Saudi Arabia ended their AFC Champions League hoodoo with a win over Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium on Sunday that ensured the trophy returns with them to Riyadh.
Al Hilal avenged their defeat against the same opponents two years ago to become the first club from Saudi Arabia to secure the title since Al Ittihad claimed the second of their back-to-back crowns in 2005 to erase bitter memories of previous final failure.
Saitama: With communication the key to their victory, Jang Hyun-soo’s crash course in English played a key role in the former Korea Republic international helping Al Hilal SFC secure the 2019 AFC Champions League title on Sunday.
Jang’s performance at the heart of the Saudi Arabian club’s defence kept Urawa Red Diamonds at bay before goals from Salem Al Dawsari and Bafetimbi Gomis ensured the club from Riyadh finally won the title.
Saitama: Urawa Red Diamonds defender Tomoaki Makino conceded he and his teammates were outclassed by Al Hilal SFC as the Saudi Arabian side finally claimed their first-ever AFC Champions League title with victory over the two-time winners on Sunday.
Tsuyoshi Otsuki’s men failed to feed off an electric atmosphere at Saitama Stadium, where the 2017 AFC Champions League winners went down meekly against the visitors from Riyadh.
It was the first time in tournament history that a Japanese club has lost the AFC Champions League final, and Reds defender Makino made no excuses as their bid for a third continental crown was unsuccessful.
Saitama: Bafetimbi Gomis of Al Hilal SFC scored a double of Sunday as he was named the 2019 AFC Champions League MVP and won the Top Scorer award.
Gomis scored 11 goals in Al Hilal's campaign, which saw the Saudi Arabia side win the AFC Champions League title after defeating Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 on aggregate, with the former France international scoring Al Hilal's second goal in Sunday's 2-0 second leg win at the Saitama Stadium.
Gomis' goals and leadership played a pivotal role in Al Hilal's triumph, a first for the club after having fallen in the 2014 and 2017 finals.
Gomis was a mainstay in Al Hilal's campaign, featuring in all 14 matches the Saudi club played en route to winning the title.
Final - 2nd Leg: Al Dawsari, Gomis strikes seal Al Hilal title
Saitama: Goals from Salem Al Dawsari and Bafetimbi Gomis ensured Al Hilal claimed the AFC Champions League for the first time in the club’s history as the Riyadh-based side completed a 3-0 aggregate win over Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium on Sunday.
Al Dawsari’s close range effort 16 minutes from time and Gomis’ injury time strike gave Al Hilal a 2-0 win on the night and allowed them to complete a historic win following their first leg victory at the King Saud University Stadium two weeks ago.
Al Hilal become the first club from West Asia to win the title since Al Sadd’s victory in 2011 and they are the first team from Saudi Arabia to claim the trophy since the second of Al Ittihad’s back-to-back wins in 2005.