Al Hilal shows quality in their first match of the AFC Champions League round of 16.
Saudi Arabia’sAl Hilal
from Iran in the AFC Champions League’s round of 16 at Zabeel Stadium on Monday 13th September, and Jardim’s men started the game with so much confidence in a situation that they were expected to make a tough night for the Iranian side.
Both sides seemed a bit cautious at the beginning of the match, and Majidi’s men created the first important scoring chance, but it was wasted by Siavash Yazdani. The Saudi Arabia side managed to take control of the game in the following minutes of the first half, and in the 34th minute of the game, Salem Al Dawsari missed a chance that gave Al Hilal players even more ambitions which led to their first goal five minutes later as
found the net in the 38th minute.
After receiving the goal, the Esteghlal players seemed more dangerous in the last minutes of the first half, but AL Hilal managed to keep control of the game to be able to go to the half-time as the winning side.
The game had more pace in the second half, and both sides were looking to find the net, and they took turns in creating serious opportunities but again, it was the Saudi Arabia side that was able to score when
converted Moussa Marega’s pass into his side’s second goal to double their lead and make the job even harder for the Iranian side.
After the second goal, the two-time Asian champions who had nothing to lose were all-over the opposition, but their opportunities didn’t convert to goals, and sometimes it was luck that saved Leonardo Jardim’s side as the losing side kept increasing the pressure as the minutes passed but the chances were getting wasted one by one and Majidi’s men were getting more aggressive as they got closer to the last fifteen minutes of the game which got much more exciting as it got closer to its end.
Esteghlal made four substitutions, and Al Hilal made only one change until the 75th minute, but none of the substitutions had an impact on the result. By the 78th minute, the Iranian side had made all their substitutions hoping for a change, although Al Hilal’s defensive strategies seemed as successful as their attacking plans.
Although they didn’t seem to be getting anywhere, the Iranian players kept putting their opposition under pressure to at least decrease the margin.
In the last five minutes of the game, both sides seemed tired, and the game’s pace decreased, and Al Hilal pushed the opposition back by creating some chances, especially in the counter-attacks.