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: Urawa Red Diamonds head coach Tsuyoshi Otsuki was left lamenting his side’s inability to claw back their first-leg deficit in the opening 45 minutes of the second leg of the 2019 AFC Champions League final as the two-time champions lost out on Sunday to Al Hilal SFC.
The side from Saudi Arabia completed a 3-0 aggregate win thanks to second half goals from Salem Al Dawsari and Bafetimbi Gomis to claim the title for the first time in the club’s history.
Urawa went into the game at Saitama Stadium trailing by a goal from Andre Carrillo in the first leg in Riyadh two weeks ago and Razvan Lucescu’s side kept the 2007 and 2017 champions’ attack quiet throughout much of the game.
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.
Kuala Lumpur: With the AFC Cup done and dusted for another year after Lebanon’s Al Ahed were crowned the 2019 champions following a 1-0 victory DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC, its time to reflect on the tournament that was.
In the first of a series of competition reviews, the-AFC.com has compiled a list of the stats and facts that caught the eye over the past nine months of action.
Kuala Lumpur: Al Ahed FC became the first Lebanese club to win the AFC Cup, emerging as 1-0 winners over DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC in Monday’s final at Kuala Lumpur Stadium.
A second-half header from Issah Yakubu proved decisive for Bassem Marmar’s side, who navigated the entire knockout stage without conceding a goal on their way to a maiden Continental title.
Al Ahed spent much of the match in the ascendancy, with 4.25’s cause damaged by an early red card to goalkeeper An Tae-song, with Yakubu’s winner coming after a number of earlier chances had gone begging.