AFC Champions League: Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal in the semi-finals with two sweeping victories


Saudi Arabia ensured its presence in the AFC Champions League final, after Al Nasr and Al Hilal qualified for the semi-finals with sweeping victories over Al Wahda 5-1 and Persepolis of Iran 3-0, respectively, on Saturday, in Riyadh.

At the Marsool Park Stadium, the five-way victory, which is in the semi-finals for the second time in a row, scored Moroccan Abdel Razzaq Hamdallah (7), Uzbek Jalaluddin Masharipov (52 and 64), Abdel Fattah Asiri (56) and Sami Al-Naji (74), while Ismail Matar scored the only goal of the unit. (90+2).

Saturday’s match was the first test for the new Portuguese coach, Pedro Emmanuel, who was contracted by Al Nasr to succeed the Brazilian, Mano Menezes. For the second time in its history after 2007.

The Portuguese coach expressed his happiness at qualifying for the semi-finals, saying, “I am happy to work with the Al Nasr players. I congratulate them on winning tonight.”

Victory benefited from the presence of the audience

And he added, “In the second half, we were better, because of the efficiency of some players, such as Taliska. On the other hand, Al-Wahda did not have many chances during the match. We cannot forget the role of the fans, as their interaction gave confidence and enthusiasm to the players tonight.”

On the other hand, the Dutch coach of Al-Wahda, Henk Tin Kat, said that the result does not reflect the course of the match, explaining, “The loss is heavy, but it does not reflect the course of the match. Victory gets 6 chances and scored 5 goals, while we got 5 chances and scored only one goal.” .

Al-Nasr hopes that he will not meet the same fate as last season, when his campaign stopped at the round of four with penalty shootouts at the hands of Persepolis, when he meets in the semi-finals with his compatriot Al-Hilal for the final ticket that will bring the winner between them with the winner of the semi-final match in East Asia (Sunday, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will meet with his compatriot Ulsan Hyundai and their compatriots, Pohang Steelers, Nagoya Grampus, Japan).

The semi-finals of West Asia will be held next Tuesday in Riyadh also at Mursool Park Stadium and the semi-finals of the East Continent will be held on Wednesday in Jeonju, South Korea, with the final to be on November 23.

Al-Nassr rushed to the attack at the beginning of the first half and had a chance, but the header of the Brazilian Anderson Talisca crossed the crossbar (2). Al-Wahda responded with a quick attack and Ismail Matar aimed a strong ball, which was brilliantly caught by Walid Abdullah (4).

From a coordinated attack, Al-Nassr succeeded in taking precedence when the Uzbek Jalaluddin Masharipov passed a ball to Moroccan Abdul Razzaq Hamdallah, who played it strong to the right of Muhammad Al Shamsi (7). Al-Nasr then missed an opportunity when Abdul Razzaq Hamdallah manipulated the defense and hit a strong ball that was saved by Muhammad Al Shamsi and ended its danger (15).

Al-Wahda had an opportunity to equalize the result when the Brazilian Joao Pedro fired a powerful ball that was saved by Walid Abdullah and turned it into a corner (20), then Anderson Taliska hit a powerful ball that the Al-Wahda goalkeeper failed to tackle the first time, but he caught it and grabbed it before it crossed the goal line (22).

Taliska repeated the attempt when he hit a strong ball over the crossbar (38).

In the second half, Al-Nasr was close to consolidating its progress with a second goal, but Abdul Razzaq Hamdallah’s ball was blocked by Muhammad Al-Shamsi (51), and then from an organized attack, Al-Nasr added his second goal when the ball reached Jalaluddin Masharipov, who aimed it strong to the left of Muhammad Al-Shamsi (52).

Three minutes later, Al-Nassr consolidated the result when Abdel Razzaq Hamdallah played a cross that Abdel Fattah Asiri did not find difficult to deposit in the goal (56).

Al-Nasr was not satisfied with the treble, but added a fourth goal when Hamdallah passed a ball to Masharipov, who was alone in the goal and played the ball to the right of Al-Shamsi (64), before the Saudi team fired a bullet of mercy at its opponent with the fifth goal scored by Sami Al-Najie, a double with the Saudi team against China in the qualifiers Qualified for the World Cup, after receiving a cross and playing it directly into the goal (74).

In added time, Al Wahda scored an honorary goal through Ismail Matar, who rose to a cross and headed it to the right of Walid Abdullah.

At Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Al Hilal, the champion of the competition three times, the last of which was in 2019, overtook Persepolis without trouble as well, by winning it 3-0.

And he secured the Al-Hilal treble, which missed the efforts of Yasser Al-Shahrani, Abdullah Atif, Salem Al-Dosari (27) and French Bafetimbi Gomis (50 and 70).

 Al-Hilal translated his control with a goal scored by Al-Dosari

And Al Hilal imposed its control over the course of the first half and almost opened the scoring early, had it not been for the ingenuity of Iranian goalkeeper Hamed Lak, who saved the Brazilian Matthews Pereira (2), who returned and hit the post (7).

After several attempts, Al Hilal translated his control with a goal scored by Al Dosari when he penetrated the ball past more than one defender before sending the ball strong into the goalkeeper’s left scissors (27).

There was another chance for Al Hilal to double the result, but Pereira’s attempt passed next to Al Qaim (34), then a chance was created for Persepolis, but the ball of Issa Al Katheer found its way Abdullah Al Mayouf (35).

With the start of the second half, Persepolis almost equalized, but Issa Al Kathir’s strong ball passed by the post (49), then Al Hilal responded harshly, as he managed to consolidate his lead with a second goal when Pereira played Gomis’s cross, who easily converted it into the goal (50).

Al-Dosari missed a goal when he passed the goalkeeper and played the ball next to the post (55), then the latter interfered in the face of the same player (67).

Two minutes later, Al Hilal added his third goal when Gomez received a cross and played it directly inside the goal (70).

After Al Hilal was assured of the result, it made several changes to keep the difference of three clean goals separating the two teams.


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