Al-Hilal fans praise club’s showing despite Riyadh defeat

Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal player Nawaf Al Abed (C) is tackled by Western Sydney Wanderers defender Antony Golec (R) in the AFC Champions League football final at King Fahad stadium in Riyadh, on November 1, 2014. (AFP)

Fans of Saudi football giants Al-Hilal took to Twitter on Saturday to praise their club’s performance despite the team’s inability to beat the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Asian Champions League final in Riyadh.

In a goalless match, the Wanderers - who were holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg - became the first Australian winners of the AFC Champions League after they held off Al-Hilal who enjoyed much of the possession and dominated at King Fahd stadium.

As Wanderers keeper Ante Covic had predicted, Al-Hilal came out “all guns blazing” on their home stadium, launching an almost constant barrage of attacks on their opponent’s goal.

The Wanderers’ victory represents a big blow to the Saudi side and also robbed Al-Hilal midfielder Saud Khariri’s chance of becoming the first player to win three Champions League winner’s medals after helping Saudi rivals Al-Ittihad to victories in 2004 and 2005.

“I am with you Al-Hilal through the bitter and sweet … I am with you Al-Hilal through the bitter and sweet … I am with you Al-Hilal through the bitter and sweet,” a user under the name @_HiLAL_SAMI_ said in a post in Arabic.

“Hard luck Hilal,” @S_aljber, another Twitter user, said in a post.

Many supporters of Al-Hilal began posting a “I Love Hilal F.C” banner on the popular social media network. The campaign has so far garnered over 126,000 gestures of support.

Despite voicing support for Al-Hilal, some of the fans’ anger at the defeat centered on match referee Yuichi Nishimura, who waved two Al-Hilal penalty appeals.

“Al Hilal is the winner!!! Against the referee is hard to do something!!!! Congratulation Al Hilal!!! I’m so proud !” Anamaria Reghecampf said in one post under the twitter handle @ANAMARIAPRODAN1.

“Go in jail!!!!” Reghecampf said in another tweet.

“CONGRATULATIONS AL HILAL!!! You played with all your heart, soul and body strength. It's hard to beat an unfair referee. We're PROUD of you!” Marcella Di Biase, another Twitter user, said in a post.


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45