Saudi Hilal Wins the Asian Cup on Ricardo’s Hat-trick
Hilal's striker, Sergio Ricardo of Brazil knocked down Jubilo Iwata's net for 3 times, marking up a 3-2 victory over the Japanese defending champion, to win the Asian Club Championship, Saturday at King Fahd International Stadium.
Right from the start, Hilal's players went after a leading early goal, launching a number of attacks that froze their opponents inside their free zone.
Three minutes later, the successive attacks rewarded home a free kick, from which Ricardo fired a bullet shot into Iwata's net.
The defending champions, who had suffered no defeat throughout the championship, showed determination to change the situation where they found themselves.
In the 18th and 19th minutes, the guest led two surprising, but well organized, counter-attacks and switched the lead for 2-1.
Captain Masashi Nakayama scored the equalizing goal from a sliding kick.
Before the hosts arose from the shock, their net received a second goal in less than a minute that ended the first leg for 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
Having earlier promised their fans of the best performance and result, Hilal started the second half with the same energy they did at the initial stage of the first.
The Saudis' equalizing attempts apparently had their effect on the Japanese’s nerves as they turned to be tougher. This earned them a yellow card with couple of verbal warnings by the referee.
A minute before the original was over, Ricardo equalized them with a powerful header.
This led for two extra halves, that witnessed only Hilal's third winning goal by the hat-trick player in the 12th minute of the first extra time –(Several Sources)
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