Doha: Head coach Răzvan Lucescu believes Al Hilal SFC thoroughly deserved their resounding 4-1 win over Qatar’s Al Sadd SC in the first leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday.
Al Hilal found themselves behind after 15 minutes when Bafétimbi Gomis scored an own goal, but the French forward subsequently netted a goal in each half to help his side record a comfortable victory against an Al Sadd outfit who had Abdulkarim Hassan sent off in the first half.
Kuala Lumpur: After 10 rounds of fixtures, the 2019 AFC Champions League semi-finals are upon us, with four Asian giants to continue their quests for Continental glory in the first legs on Tuesday and Wednesday.
First up, the 2011 winners Al Sadd of Qatar take on Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal, followed by a pair of two-time champions in Urawa Red Diamonds and Guangzhou Evergrande meeting a day later. Ahead of the eagerly awaited clashes, here’s the-AFC.com’s five things to look out for.
Saitama: Fabio Cannavaro has urged his Guangzhou Evergrande side to maintain the level of performances that have seen them secure their berth in the semi-finals of the 2019 AFC Champions League, despite concerns over his team’s recent lack of goals.
Guangzhou take on Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium 2002 on Wednesday in the first leg of their last four clash with Cannavaro’s side in the midst of a minor slump as the two-time champions go into the meeting without a win in their last five games in all competitions.
Saitama: Tsuyoshi Otsuki will send his Urawa Red Diamonds team out to play the long game as the two-time champions take on Chinese Super League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande in the first leg of the clubs’ 2019 AFC Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
Having seen his side overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit in the second leg of their Round of 16 meeting with Ulsan Hyundai in Korea Republic in June, Otsuki is focusing on the aggregate result rather than the outcome of the game at Saitama Stadium 2002.
Saitama: Paulinho has claimed that his year-long spell with FC Barcelona helped turn him into a better player, as the Brazilian midfielder prepares to spearhead Guangzhou Evergrande’s quest for an unprecedented third AFC Champions League title.
Following a disappointing period at Tottenham Hotspur, the 31-year-old resurrected his career during his first stint with Guangzhou, when he won the 2015 AFC Champions League, two Chinese Super League titles and earned a recall to the Brazilian national team.
Barcelona came calling and, during a year in Spain, Paulinho won the La Liga–Copa del Rey double before returning to Guangzhou after reaching the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 with La Seleção.