Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal clinched record-breaking fourth Asian Champions League title after beating South Korea’s Pohang Steelers in front of their home supporters at a packed King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh. Nasser Al-Dawsari opened the scoring in just 16 seconds, the fastest goal ever scored in the final of the competition, before Moussa Marega doubled the lead in the second half.
“We are the best team in Asia and we have worked hard to get here,” Al-Hilal captain Salman Al-Faraj said. “It was a tough game against a good team. We have been together a long time and we are delighted to win the title again after winning it in 2019.” Follow one of the best online gambling sites in Asia for more live football predictions, odds and updates.
The opening lead boosted Al-Hilal’s confidence as they controlled most the game, but the three-time Asian champion Pohang, with seven losses in their last nine league games, had also the made best efforts within the first 10 minutes, with midfielder Sin Jin-ho hit the bar with a strike from outside the area and goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf saved Lim Sang-hyub’s follow-up from the rebound.
“Al Hilal SFC have a proven track record in the AFC Champions League and this latest achievement is a testament to everyone, from generations past and present, working tirelessly behind the scenes to carry on its proud tradition, which I have no doubts will serve as an inspiration to Asia’s players, teams and clubs,” said Asian Football Confederation president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who was also in attendance and met the president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) Yasser Al Misehal, claimed that they had a conversation with SAFF and discussed “the depth and development of relations between the SAFF and other international federations.” Infantino also hailed the first-ever edition of the Saudi Women’s Football League.
Al Hilal previously won the Asian title in 1991, 2000 and 2019. With this win, they already secured a place at the Club World Cup, which will be played early next year in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The field for the seven-team FIFA tournament also includes European champion Chelsea, CONCACAF Champions League winner Monterrey of Mexico and African champion Al Ahly of Egypt.
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