Al-Hilal will be looking to retain the title and extend their record tally to five, but first Al-Thumama must overtake Al-Tuhail at the World Cup Stadium.
The winner qualifies for East’s representative Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan, to return home on April 29 and meet in Urawa on May 6.
And if they retain the title, Al-Hilal will become only the second Saudi team to achieve the feat after Al-Ittihad in 2004 and 2005, which won the title in 1991, 2000, 2019 and 2021.
The AFC will complete last year’s edition of the Champions League 2022 in the current year in an attempt to adjust the scheduling of club competitions in line with the European calendar.
After the elimination rounds for the Western region began earlier in the week with the assembly in Qatar, Al-Hilal defeated Emirati youth Al-Ahli 3-1 and then Iran’s Fulat Kostan 1-0.
And after “Jaeem” scored the winning goal in the 87th minute against Foulat Al-Irani, Malian striker Moussa Marika said, “We kept our consistency, we didn’t let them score, and in the end we were able to win. The goal. I scored because of the team’s build-up from behind.” said.
The semi-finalist continued, “Having suffered some fatigue as a result of our frequent participation, we need to recover and be well prepared for the next match before facing Al Tuhail.”
Al-Hilal returned from a successful participation in the Club World Cup in Morocco, where they reached the final for the first time in the Saudi club’s history, losing 3–5 to European champions Real Madrid.
In turn, his Argentina coach Ramon Diaz said, “I congratulate the players who put in a very good effort, because they recently finished a strong competition in the Club World Cup, and then they are now in a strong competition in the AFC Champions League. , they play hard every three days.”
On the decisive Western Region clash against Al Tuhail, the 63-year-old former international striker added, “We know Al Tuhail very well and their coach Hernan Crespo has played under my supervision and we have achieved many achievements together. Both teams have great players in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Because of that, it will be interesting and interesting for the big fans watching the match against them.
Conflict between teacher and student
Al-Tuhail became the second Qatari club to qualify for the finals after Al-Saad, who won the title in 2011, beating compatriot Al-Rayyan 7-6 after a 1-1 draw. , then Al-Shabaab Al-Saudi 2-1 on Thursday.
He is guided by his Argentine coach Hernán Crespo, who began his illustrious career with River Plate under Diaz’s tutelage in the mid-1990s and crowned him with the 1996 Copa Libertadores.
A sentiment shared by Diaz on Saturday, “It’s great to have two Argentine coaches in the semi-finals. I know Crespo very well. He has experience and will be a strong challenger.”
Crespo, a former international striker, expressed his happiness at qualifying, saying, “We have achieved a historic feat. We have never qualified for the semi-finals before. I am proud to be a part of this historic victory..Al-Hilal are champions and a great experience, but I told my players: ‘You become champions.’ If desired, you must defeat heroes +”.
He continued, “But they have a lot of experience. A month ago, they beat Flamengo (the Brazilians in the Club World Cup) and then played a great match against Real Madrid (the Spaniards in the final).”
“He’s got a knock and we’re waiting for the medical team’s assessment,” Crespo (47) said after the quarter-final when Belgian Edmilson Jr., the championship’s top scorer, was out with an injury. “If Edmilson doesn’t play, we have replacements ready,” he said.
In turn, his Kenyan striker Michael Olonga, the best player in the face of the Saudi youth, said, “At the beginning of the match, I was unlucky to score because of Edmilson’s good cross pass, but in such matches the striker must be patient and try.”
“To continue my role and try to use the gaps and move well, the coach asked me at half-time and in the end I scored two goals,” he added.
He added, “Every player wants to play strong matches against opponents at the highest level and at Al Tuhail we believe in team play as the support of my colleagues is what makes me effective on the field.”
The seventh match between Al-Tuhail and Al-Hilal will take place in the AFC Champions League. Al-Tuhail won the first match, Al-Hilal won twice against three draws and Al-Hilal excelled in the quarter-finals. 2015 Edition (4-1 and 2-2).
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