Al Hilal hammer Al Ittihad, lift Saudi Super Cup in Abu Dhabi - GulfToday

Al Hilal hammer Al Ittihad, lift Saudi Super Cup in Abu Dhabi


Al Hilal's Salem Al Dawsari lifts the trophy with teammates after winning the Saudi Super Cup final in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night. Reuters

Brazilian forward Malcom scored twice to help Al Hilal ease to a 4-1 victory over Al Ittihad and claim the Saudi Super Cup title at the Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday night.

The Super Cup trophy is the first of the season for the Riyadh side but is unlikely to be the last as the team is also 12 points clear of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr at the top of the Saudi Pro League with just seven games remaining.

Jorge Jesus’ side, still alive in the King’s Cup and Asian Champions league, are bidding for a quadruple of trophies this season.

Injured Al Hilal star Neymar didn’t play in the game but helped his team lift the trophy during the celebrations.

In 2023, the Super Cup was expanded from a single game between the league champions and King’s Cup winners to include the runners-up from both competitions. It was also moved to Abu Dhabi.

AlHilal-Champions Al Hilal players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Saudi Super Cup final in Abu Dhabi. AFP

Al Hilal, who won their fourth Saudi Super Cup title and extended their run to 34 consecutive victories in all competitions, took an early lead after five minutes through Malcom following a one-two with Saleh Al-Shehri.

“It was a tough game, delighted to score two goals, and we were thrilled to secure our first title of the season. We have other trophies to pursue,” Malcom told SSC Channel.

Al Ittihad striker Karim Benzema, signed from Real Madrid last summer, was unable to find the net while Abderrazak Hamdallah equalised in the 21st minute as he struck from the rebound after his penalty was saved by A Hilal’s Yassine Bounou.

The Moroccan forward featured in a controversial incident at the end of the match, however, as he seemed to get involved in an altercation with a fan standing close to the field. The supporter was led away by security personnel.

Hilal-SaudiSuperCup Al Hilal's Salem Al Dawsari lifts the trophy with teammates after winning the Saudi Super Cup final in Abu Dhabi. Reuters

Al Hilal went ahead again when Salem Al-Dawsari struck from the edge of the area in the 44th minute, Malcom scored from close range after dribbling past Al-Ittihad captain Ahmed Hegazy and substitute Nasser Al-Dawsari completed the rout. Al Nassr’s Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off late in the game as his side lost 2-1 to Al Hilal in the Saudi Super Cup semi-final on Monday.

In another semi-final, a goal from Benzema in the opening minute and a second from Hamdallah sealed Ittihad’s 2-1 victory over Al Wehda.

The rivalry between Al Hilal and Al Ittihad will be renewed in the King’s Cup semi-final on April 30.

Al Hilal returns to the UAE on Tuesday to take on Al Ain in the first leg of the Asian Champions League semifinals as it seeks a record fifth continental title. The club’s potentially record-breaking season comes after it spent about 350 million euros ($380 million) on player transfers after being taken over by the Saudi sovereign wealth operation, the Public Investment Fund.

Meanwhile, the competition received over 60,000 spectators in total. The success of the Saudi Super Cup sees Abu Dhabi emerge once again as a leading tourist destination, positioning itself as a hub for major local and international sporting and entertainment events.

Mohammed Abdullah Hazam Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of UAE Football Association, stated that this season the Saudi Super Cup has added to Abu Dhabi’s proven track record of success in organizing major sporting events. “The tournament was very well received by the public,” he said.

Dhaheri added: “We congratulate Al-Hilal on their win and would like to thank everyone who contributed to perfecting the details of this event. We also applaud the DCT Abu Dhabi’s significant role in making the Saudi Super Cup one to remember.”

In addition, Al Hilal’s captain Dawsari said: “Of course, the whole team is very happy with the result in the final and to be able to take the cup back to Saudi Arabia, so that even more of the fans there can see it and enjoy that victory. To play the final in Abu Dhabi was a great privilege at a fantastic venue, and we thank all the travelling fans for joining us on that journey.”

The tournament featured football legends Rolando and Benzema, alongside regional talent Salem Al Dawsari and Hamdallah.


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