Kuala Lumpur: The clock is ticking down towards the 2019 AFC Champions League final between Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds as the sides get set to meet for the second time in three years when the first leg kicks off in Riyadh on Saturday.
While both teams undoubtedly deserve their place in the showpiece event, there are a number of key moments and perhaps even some strokes of luck that have helped them along the way. The-AFC.com has picked out six events that have contributed to the sides’ success in the 2019 campaign.
Riyadh: Tuesday night brought Al Hilal a mix of disappointment at the heavy defeat at home and joy for reaching the 2019 AFC Champions League final.
There were calls to celebrate, apologies and careful reflections as Al Hilal players took to social media after a night that saw them suffer a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Qatar's Al Sadd; one of the heaviest home losses of the Blues' AFC Champions League history. But it was also a night when they secured a ticket to the competition's final for the third time in six years.
Analysis: Urawa get game plan spot on against goal-shy Guangzhou
Kuala Lumpur: Urawa Red Diamonds got their tactics right to secure a place in the 2019 AFC Champions League final after Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Guangzhou Evergrande in the second leg of the semi-final saw the J.League side progress 3-0 on aggregate.
A 2-0 first-leg win meant Urawa took a strong advantage into the return meeting at Tianhe Stadium, although Guangzhou had gone 21 home games unbeaten on the Continent and had never been eliminated by a Japanese side in the knockout stage.
ACL 2019 Allianz Goal of the Week: Bafetimbi Gomis (Al Hilal SFC)
Kuala Lumpur: The-AFC.com announced on Friday that Al Hilal's Bafetimbi Gomis is the winner of this week’s Goal of the Week presented by Allianz for the 2019 AFC Champions League semi-final second legs.
West Asia Domestic Wrap: Al Hilal suffer first defeat
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia giants Al Hilal suffered their first defeat in the Saudi Pro League this season just days after securing their place in the 2019 AFC Champions League final for the second time in three years.
There was another setback in neighbouring UAE as defending champions Al Sharjah dropped their first points this season while Al Sadd recovered from their 2019 AFC Champions League semi-final exit in the Qatar Stars League. Join the-AFC.com as we reviews the domestic action in West Asia.
Kuala Lumpur: The finalists for the 2019 AFC Champions League have been confirmed after two pulsating semi-finals saw Al Hilal and Urawa Red Diamonds advance at the expense of Al Sadd and Guangzhou Evergrande.
Al Sadd came close to recording the greatest comeback the competition has ever seen but their 4-2 win was ultimately not enough as Al Hilal advanced 6-5 on aggregate, while Urawa sealed their place in the main event after a 1-0 victory secured a 3-0 aggregate scoreline. The-AFC.com looks back at the facts and figures that caught the eye in the semi-final match-ups.