VIDEO: Al Hilal outclass Ittihad, put one foot in Arab Cup semis
Ittihad of Alexandria have suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat to Saudi side Al Hilal in the first-leg of the Arab Championship quarter-finals.
The Alexandria-based club is the only remaining Egyptian club in the competition following the elimination of Cairo giants Al Ahly and Zamalek in the round of 16.
They really needed a positive result at the King Saud University Stadium to keep their hopes of reaching the semi-finals alive ahead of the return-leg in Alexandria.
Al Hilal entered the game with a star-studded starting eleven, with likes of Bafétimbi Gomis, André Carrillo, Carlos Eduardo, and Alberto Botía making the starting squad.
On the other hand, Ittihad manager Helmy Toulan started with Al Ahli loanee Amaar Hamdy and Toni Silva on the wings, Khaled Kamar as the lone striker, and Ahmed Nabil Manga, Ahmed Tawfik, Nour El-Sayed in the three-man midfield.
It didn’t take the hosts long to open the scoring as Carlos Eduardo scored a stunner in the 14th minute, after converting André Carrillo’s cross.
Ittihad had an instant reply, when Manga sent former Liverpool winger Toni Silva through on goal, but the Bissau-Guinean international couldn’t beat Abdullah Al-Mayouf.
Al Hilal punished the Egyptians severely, scoring their second of the game in the 31st minute through Bafétimbi Gomis, who volleyed a perfectly weighted pass from team captain Mohammad Al-Shalhoub.
Ten minutes later, the Frenchman managed to do it once again, converting Yasser Al-Shahrani’s perfect cross with a first-time shot, making it 3-0 to Al Hilal.
The second-half didn’t witness any action despite both teams bringing in additional forwards, with both sides settling for the 3-0 scoreline.
The result means that Ittihad have an almost impossible mission when they host the Saudi side in Alexandria on February 25, as they need to win by a four-goal margin to reach the semis.
— قناة أبوظبي الرياضية (@ADSportsTV) February 16, 2019
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