Saudi giants in goalless draw

AFP

Despite showing attacking intent, the first ever quarter-final between two Saudi teams saw both sides failing to convert potential chances in front of more than 50,000 spectators at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, raising the prospect of a  thrilling second leg encounter on September 17.

Hosts Al Ittihad had not beaten Al Hilal in almost three years and came close to breaking that jinx just a couple of minutes into the game but Ziyad al-Sahafi headed over the crosspiece off a Carlos Villaneuva free-kick.

Al Hilal's first chance came in the 14th minute but Bafetimbi Gomis shot over the post after Andre Carillo had done all the running down the right flank and crossed.

Al Ittihad goalkeeper Fawaz al-Qarni was tested on a few occasions later, saving efforts from Sebastian Giovinco and Salem al-Dawasari.

Al Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah al-Mayouf also produced a couple of saves to keep Al Ittihad at bay, but as the game reached its close both teams eased up and settled for the draw.

The winners of the second leg next month will take on either Qatar's Al Sadd or Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr in the semi-finals.
On Monday, Xavi's Al Sadd were beaten by Al Nassr 2-1 in the first leg of their quarter-final in Riyadh.