Saudi Arabia: Saudi football club AlHilal achieved a historic victory Sunday 26th Feb over Qatari host AlDuhail, after a clean 7-0 in the semi-finals of the 2022 AFC Champions League, held at AlThumama Stadium in Qatar.
The victory qualified the Saudi team for the ninth final in its history, and the second in a row. AlHilal will meet Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds in a familiar final that both teams shared in 2017 and 2019.
Record shattering match
At the kickoff, AlHilal took advantage of AlDuhail's confusion with star midfielder, Mohamed Knno, passing Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo a quick one scoring the first goal in the 2nd minute, and AlHilal continued to extend his control when Brazilian wing, Michael Delgado, set off and prepared a perfect pass for Ighalo, who scored a second goal in the 10th minute.
Superstar Salem AlDosari set off a smart play that was received by Malian striker Musa Marega scoring the third goal in the 14th minute. The goals kept on coming with the fourth by Marega, in the 27th minute, And the fifth by AlDosari in the 38th minute, ending the first half with a clean five lead, that could have been six if not for a clear offside by Marega three minutes before the end of the first half.
AlHilal continued its dominance over AlDuhail in the second half; When Salem AlDosari passed the ball to Ighalo, who scored the sixth goal in the 48th minute. The end of the blue wave came in the 62nd minute when Ighalo scored the seventh goal for his team, crowning him a super hat-trick, and giving AlHilal a new record win at the AFC semi-finals.
Asia's Champs do it again
AlHilal, known locally as 'Alzaeem' was on full display. The club achieved 8 Asian titles, including 4 AFC Championships (1991, 2000, 2019, and 2021), and came runner-up 4 times (1987, 1988, 2014, and 2017), which makes it the most Asian club to show in the AFC finals (9 times).
AlHilal also won the Asian Cup Winners' twice (1996 and 2002), and the Asian Super Cup twice (1997 and 2000) and finished runner-up in the 2002 edition.
Numbers don't lie
With this victory over AlDuhail in the semifinals of this 2022 edition, AlHilal will have achieved victory No. 9 in a row in the knockout rounds of the AFC Champions League; Where he previously won in the rounds (first leg of the 2019 final, the second leg of the 2019 final, 2021 round of 16, 2021 quarter-finals, 2021 semi-finals, 2021 final, 2022 round of 16, 2022 quarter-finals, and 2022 semi-finals).
AlHilal also won 11 consecutive knockout stages in the AFC Champions League (round of 16 2019, quarter-final 2019, semi-final 2019, final 2019, round of 16 2021, quarter-final 2021, semi-final 2021, final 2021, round of 16 2022, quarter-final 2022, and semi-final 2022).
AlHilal is the first team in the history of the AFC Champions League to score 5 goals during the first half of the knockout stages of the tournament and has his name on the largest victory in the history of the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League.