Urawa ready to attack in AFC Champions League final, Al-Hilal confident of victory

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: Coach of Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds Tsuyoshi Otsuki said his team will be looking to attack from the off in Saturday's AFC Champions League. (AN Photo/Basheer Alzain Saleh)
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Al-Hilal’s coach, Razvan Lucescu was confident of his team’s chances during Friday’s press conference. (AN Photo/Basheer Alzain Saleh)
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Al-Hilal’s coach, Razvan Lucescu was confident of his team’s chances during Friday’s press conference. (AN Photo/Basheer Alzain Saleh)
Updated 08 November 2019

Urawa ready to attack in AFC Champions League final, Al-Hilal confident of victory

  • Whoever wins this year’s edition will level South Korea’s Pohang’s record of three titles
  • Tickets sold out 5 minutes after being posted on the website

RIYADH: Coach of Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds Tsuyoshi Otsuki said his team will be looking to attack from the off when his side play Al-Hilal during the first leg of the AFC Champions League Final on Saturday.
The first leg is at the Saudi capital’s King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, with he second showdown of the final set to take place on Nov. 24 at Saitama Stadium in Japan.
Whoever wins this year’s edition will level South Korea’s Pohang’s record of three titles.
“We will try to score as much as possible when we face Al-Hilal on Saturday to make the second peg easier for us,” said Otsuki.
“Travel fatigue will not have a negative impact on our performance, tomorrow you will be able to see if the circumstances led to my team’s recent loss in the Japanese League,” he added.
Otsuki also thanked Urawa’s fans who made the long journey to Riyadh to support their team.
Al-Hilal’s coach, Razvan Lucescu was confident of his team’s chances during Friday’s press conference.
“We have studied the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses,” he said.
“We are prepared well to face Urawa, we will be representing Saudi Arabia in the final and we hope we will win.
“We are armed with confidence and enthusiasm and all the players are ready for the finals. Mohamed Kino participated in the training, while we will be determining whether or not he will be joining us on the field tomorrow,” he added.
The pre-game build-up will include a small ceremony organized by the AFC to celebrate the two teams.
Tickets sold out 5 minutes after being posted on the website, unsurprising given the huge importance of the game game for both sets of fans.


Bayern Munich with one hand on Bundesliga title after 1-0 win at Dortmund

Updated 26 May 2020

Bayern Munich with one hand on Bundesliga title after 1-0 win at Dortmund

  • Kimmich sent a perfectly-weighted chip over stranded keeper Roman Buerki

DORTMUND: Joshua Kimmich’s sweet first-half lob gave leaders Bayern Munich a 1-0 win at second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Tuesday to close in on the league title with a seven-point advantage over their rivals and six games left in the season.
Kimmich sent a perfectly-weighted chip over stranded keeper Roman Buerki in the 43rd minute as the champions landed a big win, at an empty stadium that normally seats 80,000 fans, in their quest for a record-extending eighth straight league crown.
Bayern, who have now won seven straight league matches, are on 64 points with Dortmund still on 57. RB Leipzig, who face Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, are third with 54.
The Bundesliga became the first major league to restart 10 days ago after a break of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with games played without supporters to reduce the risk of infection.
It all started well for hosts Dortmund, who were on a six-game winning streak going into the match, with teenage sensation Erling Haaland almost scoring in the opening seconds as Bayern’s Jerome Boateng had to clear the ball off the line.
The visitors gradually found their footing and had their own effort cleared off the line when Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek denied Serge Gnabry from five meters.
In a fluid and entertaining first half Norway international Haaland should have done better when he was sent through in the 33rd minute with Alphonso Davies stealing the ball away.
It was Kimmich’s delightful effort that settled the game when he spotted Buerki off his line and superbly chipped the ball from the edge of the box over the keeper.
Bayern stayed in control after the break and an injury meant Dortmund lost Haaland, who earlier had another effort deflected wide by Boateng’s elbow, with 18 minutes left.
Dortmund’s Mo Dahoud tried his luck from outside the box but visiting keeper Manuel Neuer, on his 400th league appearance, managed to preserve his clean sheet before team mate Robert Lewandowski hit the post in the 83rd for Bayern.