Returning striker Yasser Al Qahtani insists it will be a dream come true to play in Saturday’s AFC Champions League final second leg against Australia’s Western Sydney Wanderers, with the Al Hilal frontman prepared to put his body on the line to help the Saudi Arabian side land a record-equalling third continental title.
A suspended Al Qahtani was forced to watch from the stands at Parramatta Stadium at the weekend as Tomi Juric’s strike just after the hour mark handed Western Sydney a 1-0 win in the first leg after Al Hilal had dominated for the majority of the contest.
But with club captain Al Qahtani eligible to return for Saturday’s second leg at King Fahd International Stadium, Al Hilal coach Laurentiu Reghecampf now has an additional option at his disposal in attack after the visitors struggled for quality in the final third during the first leg defeat.
“It was a problem for me as I was suspended last week and I wanted to play, but I think the team did well. We lost the first game, but I think we will win the trophy in the second game,” said 32-year-old Al Qahtani, who has scored twice for Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League this season.
“Playing in this game is like a dream. Everybody wants to play in this type of final. I wanted to play in the first game but I was suspended, but now I will wait for the coach to play me and I will run until I die as I want to win this trophy.”
Al Hilal have now lost back-to-back games in the AFC Champions League after also losing the second leg of their semi-final with Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.
But at King Fahd International Stadium in the AFC Champions League this season, two-time Asian Club Championship winners Al Hilal are unbeaten having won their last five outings, scoring 13 goals without conceding.