Fri, Sep 17, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Saudi clubs taste success in Asian Champions League

AP, SEOUL

Saudi Arabian clubs al-Shabab and al-Hilal are well positioned to reach the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League after recording wins on Wednesday in the first leg of their quarter-finals.

Al-Shabab won 2-0 at South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai, while al-Hilal dominated al-Gharafa of Qatar in a 3-0 home victory.

Seongnam Ilhwa of South Korea, meanwhile, had a 4-1 home win against domestic rivals Suwon Blue Wings while Iranian club Zob Ahan came away with a win after Mahdi Rajabzadeh converted a 75th-minute penalty to secure a 2-1 victory over defending champs Pohang Steelers of South Korea.

Al-Shabab scored midway through the second half when Fahad Hamad knocked in a rebound and boosted their advantage ahead of the second leg with a goal from Juan Manuel Oliveira.

Al-Hilal dominated much of the match against al-Gharafa and secured the win with goals from Mohammed al-Shalhoub, Ahmed al-Fraidi and Waleed Algizani.

Al-Hilal got things going after 13 minutes, as Thiago Neves passed into the area that the defense failed to clear. The ball fell to Yasser al-Qahtani, who fed al-Shalhoub to score.

Neves flicked a shot wide just after halftime before his freekick was fumbled, allowing al-Fraidi to score.

Al-Hilal completed the win with five minutes left when Algizani beat two defenders and fired a shot into the back of the net.

Seongnam were convincing winners over Suwon.

Dzenan Radoncic opened the scoring in the eighth minute but Yeom Ki-hun equalized for the Blue Wings with a freekick before Mauricio Molina restored Seongnam’s advantage.

Radoncic headed in to make it 3-1 which became 4-1 in the closing stages when So Hong-yeung’s attempt was bundled home.

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