Al-Hilal have reached the final of the King’s Cup after defeating Al-Shabab 2-1 in a tight contest that went into extra time at Prince Faisal bin Fahad Stadium in Riyadh on Sunday night.
Al-Shabab opened the scoring through Argentine midfielder Ever Banega from a penalty kick in the 62nd minute, before Al-Hilal captain Salman Al-Faraj equalized after 73 minutes and Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo won it in the 105th minute.
In the final, Al-Hilal will meet the winner of second semifinal between Al-Ittihad and Al-Feiha, which takes place at Al-Majma’ah Sports City Stadium in Monday night.
Al-Hilal coach Ramon Diaz spoke of a lack of concentration in his side’s first-half showing.
“The match required focus and vitality, which we lacked in the first half,” the Argentine said. “The situation changed in the second half; we controlled the match and scored two goals.”
He also confirmed that star man Salem Al-Dawsari was absent due to COVID-19.
“Salem’s absence is influential because he is a great player, but the team was also affected by the fatigue of international players, whether local or foreign, and there were some errors that we will work to correct.”
“Whoever we will face in the final, it will be a difficult match and will require a redoubling of efforts,” Diaz said.
The loss extends an unwanted record for Al-Shabab who have not beaten their Riyadh rival now since 2014.