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Urawa Reds claim AFC Champions League title

Urawa Reds claim AFC Champions League title

Urawa Reds defeated Al Hilal on Saturday night to win the 2017 AFC Champions League Final 2-1, becoming Asian champions for the first time in 10 years.

After drawing 1-1 in the away leg, the Reds needed just a 0-0 draw at the sold-out Saitama stadium in order to capture the continental title.

Al Hilal dominated possession in the first half, but were unable to create any chances on goal due to the Reds’ strong defending. With the score still tied 0-0 in the second half, Al Hilal continued to press but the Reds held strong.

But the visitors, in need of a goal, grew impatient, and were reduced to 10 men when Salem Al Dawsari was shown a second yellow card in a six-minute span.

The man advantage allowed Urawa to push forward on counter-attacks, and in the 88th minute it was first leg hero Rafael Silva who snuck past the Al Hilal back line to score the game’s only goal and send Urawa Reds to the winner’s podium.

The J.League side is now set to represent Asia in next month’s FIFA Club World Cup, which will be hosted in UAE.

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