Al Hilal Stage Comeback Victory to Reach AFC Champions League Quarter-Finals

Al Hilal SFC secured their place in the AFC Champions League 2023/24 quarter-finals with a dramatic 3-1 comeback win over Sepahan at Kingdom Arena on Thursday.

In a repeat of the first leg, Al Hilal fell behind but rallied to overcome their Iranian opponents, who once again finished the match with 10 men. The Saudis advance with a comfortable 6-2 aggregate score.

Despite a shaky start that saw a near own goal from Mohammed Kanno, Al Hilal created chances through Aleksandar Mitrovic and Michael, but were denied by goalkeeper Payam Niazmand. Kanno himself came close with a free-kick that rattled the upright.

Sepahan took the lead early in the second half when Farshad Ahmadzadeh tapped in from close range after Ali Asghar Aarabi’s cross. However, their joy was short-lived as Siavash Yazdani was sent off for a foul on Malcom, leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb.

Al Hilal capitalized on their numerical advantage, with Salem Al Dawsari equalizing before Ruben Neves unleashed a thunderous strike to put them ahead. Mitrovic sealed the win in stoppage time with a close-range finish, securing his seventh goal of the campaign.

The victory sets up a mouthwatering quarter-final clash for Al Hilal against their local rivals Al Ittihad, while the other West quarter-final sees Al Nassr face UAE’s Al Ain.

Al Hilal vs Sepahan Highlights

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