Al-Hilal will face its rival Al-Nasr in the AFC Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday, a completely fiery Saudi derby and a rare fiery match on the continent.
At Marseille Park Stadium, both teams enter the match with high enthusiasm, with al-Nasr beating Emirati al-Vehta 5-1 and al-Hilal beating Iran’s Persepolis 3-0.
Al Hilal is looking for a fourth title after 1991, 2000 and 2019, while Al Nasr set his sights on the first final of the current tournament after finishing second in 1995.
After failing to convince al-Hilalians at the start of the season, the fingerprints of Portuguese coach Leonardo Jordin began to appear on his team’s performance, especially in recent times. Plan regardless of the opposing team. “
After the final match, he defeated Persepolis in the summer of 2018 and 2020, a three-time top scorer by Salem al-Dosari and the senior Frenchman Baffetti Gomis (two goals) satisfied with the former French coach of Monaco’s victory, “My first words to the players, they played a great match , Most importantly we controlled the rhythm of the meeting. “
The 47-year-old coach hoped a crowd would come because “for a club like Al Hilal the fans must be strong and the stadium must be fully filled.”
Beginning on Sunday the 17th of this month, the Saudi Ministry of Sports issued a statement saying health precautions would be relaxed. Date mentioned above. “
He added, “People’s entry will be restricted to those who have completed the corona vaccine (two doses) approved by the Ministry of Health in the state.”
Tight time difference
But after playing in two quarterfinals on Saturday, doubts surrounding the players’ fitness prompted Jordim to say that “the two-day period between the Persepolis meeting and Tuesday’s meeting is not possible in any other match.”
He continued, “In Asia’s biggest match, we do not have enough time to work, nor do we have enough time for the opposing team. The time difference between two matches for such a match is huge, so that’s the way everyone can appear on a special show.”
On the other hand, the Portuguese Pedro succeeded in his first test with Emmanuel Al-Nasser, who accepted the responsibility two weeks ago.
Like Jordim, he stressed the importance of his fans, “I say fans need them. Their presence is very important and helps us a lot to achieve success.”
“I hope we can continue what we have done and be optimistic about the match, which will be an important step towards achieving our biggest goal,” said the coach looking for the final.
Almeria’s Spanish coach and former Emirati al-Ain compared the matches in the east to the west of the continent, saying, “I see the competition in the West is somewhat high and the intensity of the competition is very intense on the field.”
Al-Nasr, who enters the tournament with full teams, is counted with its Moroccan top scorer Abdel Razak Hamdallah, Brazilian Anderson Talisca, Uzbek Jalaluddin Masharibov and Sultan Al-Ghanem.
Talisca praised his coach Emmanuel, saying, “Since he previously coached in Saudi Arabia, he has been successful in managing the affairs of the team in a short period of time and he has become well acquainted with the players.”
Al-Hilal, Yasser al-Shahrani, its top-ranked Frenchman Baffetti Gomis, Brazilian Mathews Pereira, Korean Jong Hyun-soo, Malian Massa Marica, Salem al-Dosari, Salman al-Faraj and Mohammed al-Buraik, who could miss international efforts.
His captain Salman al-Faraj said after qualifying for the last square, “The semifinals will be bigger and the club is bigger … and we will now start working on the clash against the tall Al-Nasser. Skills.”
Jardim underestimated Al-Nasr’s advantage and told the match press conference: “Holding the match at Tirzool Park may be a positive factor for Al-Nasr and its fans, but I am confident about the presence and support of Al-Hilal fans.”
He added: “Equal balance between the two teams, neither side has the option, this is a decisive match and we will play with all our weapons.” When asked about the team’s left – back Yasser al-Shahrani’s readiness, he replied: “Today, will he be determined to take part in the tournament?”
In the same context, the French striker Gomez, al-Hilal striker said: “This is an important match and festival for Saudi because two teams from the arena are in the semifinals.”
He added, “Since the first day of the tournament, we have been thinking about winning the Asian Champions League title and we are still working on it.” He concluded, “For me, not only scoring, the team’s success is important, and we will dedicate our support to the Al Hilal fans who will not delay.”
For his part, at a pre-match press conference, Emmanuel confirmed that he was preparing for a surprise, “Saudi is proud of the two teams coming to the semifinals. We strive to deliver a better performance tomorrow. We will be ready and confident.”
He added, “We have worked hard to prepare the players physically and technically and will fight until the last minute. Al-Nasr fans will see a team that will satisfy them tomorrow. The teams are at the same technical level. Such a tournament requires a strategy and plan. Need to manage the system, and the surprise will be the result of competition.
For his part, player Sami al-Najay stressed the difficulty of the match, adding, “The competition will be tough for both teams and we at Al-Nasser Club want victory, we ask the fans” full support and, if God wills, they will happily leave the field. “
In the second semifinal, South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai will play three-time champion Bohang Steelers, the last of which was at the Jeonju Stadium in 2009, the final Saudi-South Korea.
South Korea’s Zionbook Hyundai Motors, 2006 and 2016 champions, won the toughest quarter – final after a 3-2 extension, with Bohang Steelers beating Japan’s Nokoya 3-0.
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