Saitama: Tsuyoshi Otsuki was refusing to celebrate after seeing his Urawa Red Diamonds side secure an impressive 2-0 win over Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday that left the former champions on the verge of qualifying for the final of the 2019 AFC Champions League.
Goals from Fabricio and Takahiro Sekine earned Urawa a first leg advantage in the semi-final over the Chinese Super League leaders, but Otsuki maintained an air of caution with the second leg at Guangzhou’s Tianhe Stadium still to be played later this month.
Saitama: Fabio Cannavaro vowed to work to arrest his Guangzhou Evergrande side’s current slump in form after Urawa Red Diamonds handed the Chinese Super League leaders a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of their 2019 AFC Champions League semi-final on Wednesday to leave their continental title hopes hanging by a thread.
The defeat extended Guangzhou’s winless run to six straight games in all competitions and means Cannavaro’s side will need to mount a major comeback in the second leg at Tianhe Stadium on October 23 if they are to progress to the final and keep alive their hopes of a record third AFC Champions League crown.
Semi-final - 1st Leg: Urawa Red Diamonds 2-0 Guangzhou Evergrande
Saitama: Spectacular strikes from Fabricio and Takahiro Sekine earned Urawa Red Diamonds a 2-0 first leg advantage over Guangzhou Evergrande in the semi-finals of the 2019 AFC Champions League on Wednesday as the Japanese side edged towards a third appearance in the final.
Fabricio put Urawa ahead 19 minutes into the game and Sekine doubled his side’s lead in the 75th minute to give Tsuyoshi Otsuki’s team a significant advantage ahead of the second leg at Guangzhou’s Tianhe Stadium on October 23.
Both clubs are looking to secure a record third AFC Champions League title and will face the winners of the meeting between Qatar’s Al Sadd and Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia, with the club from Riyadh holding a 4-1 lead in that tie following their victory on Tuesday.
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.
Doha: Al Sadd coach Xavi is refusing to give up hope of qualifying to the 2019 AFC Champions League final despite his side’s heavy 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Al Hilal in the first leg of the semi-final on Tuesday.
The Qatari champions surrendered an early lead to concede twice in each half, suffering their first home defeat of the campaign and leaving them in need of a four-goal winning margin if they are to better last year’s semi-final exit.
The night started brightly for the hosts as they dominated the early proceedings and struck first 14 minutes into the game, but a defensive mistake allowed Al Hilal a way back into the match and Al Sadd capitulated after being reduced to 10 men, allowing their visitors to reign.
Kuala Lumpur: Ahead of the 2019 AFC Champions League semi-finals, we reflect on five classic encounters from previous editions of the Continental competition.
Last minute winners, goal gluts and East-meet-West clashes, since the AFC Champions League's revamp in 2002-03, there have been plenty of thrills and spills when the tournament has reached the final four phase.
The-AFC.com looks back on some of these ties to remember and relive.