Al Hilal, Urawa tie 1-1 in 1st leg of Asian Champions League final

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Al-Hilal's Omar Khrbin (L) vies for the ball against Urawa Reds' Tomoya Ugajin during the Asian Champions League final football match between Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal and Japan's Urawa Reds on Saturday, at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh. — AFP

RIYADH — Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Urawa Reds of Japan drew 1-1 in the first leg of the Asian Champions League final on Saturday.

Both goals at King Fahd International Stadium came in the first half.

Rafael Silva gave Urawa the early lead and an away goal, while Omar Khribin equalized with his 10th of the tournament.

Urawa, the one-time champion a decade ago, was on the board after just eight minutes through Silva's low shot from inside the area.

The Saudi side responded with pressure on Urawa goalkeeper Shusaka Nishikawa, who had to make several saves, especially from Khribin.

The Syrian striker, in the running for the Asian Football Confederation player of the year award, made amends eight minutes before the break, shooting past Nishikawa from close range.

The second leg is next Saturday at Urawa's Saitama Stadium.

Reigning Asian Player of the Year Omar Abdulrahman has been named among the nominees for this year's award, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Saturday.

The United Arab Emirates midfielder, who plays his club football for Al Ain, features on a three-man shortlist alongside China and Shanghai SIPG winger Wu Lei and Syrian striker Omar Khribin.

Australia's Samantha Kerr, meanwhile, is among the three nominees for the women's award, along with Sung Hyang-sim of North Korea and Japan's Saki Kumagai. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Bangkok on Nov. 29. — Agencies


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