Al-Hilal continued to boost its spirits ahead of the AFC Champions League final when Al-Ittihad captain Ahmed Hegazy scored an own goal to give the visitors a 1-0 victory after extra time and qualify for the King’s Cup final on Sunday.
And after Abdullah Al-Mayouf stood in the way of many Al-Ittihad chances, Musa Marega set off on the right side and sent a cross pass that Hegazy accidentally turned into his own net in the 106th minute.
And after defeating Al-Nasr last week, the victory over Al-Ittihad comes to enter Al-Hilal in the first leg of the continental final against Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan next Saturday in the best condition.
Hijazi’s goal ended Al-Ittihad’s hopes of winning the local treble, as the team won the Super Cup title last January, and leads the local league seven rounds before the end.
Al-Hilal took possession of the ball, but did not threaten the goal of the landowner, who relied on counter-attacks.
Abdel-Razzaq Hamdallah missed an opportunity for Al-Ittihad when he received the ball inside the penalty area, but he hit it badly outside the field in the 42nd minute.
But the most dangerous chances in the first half were for Al-Ittihad in stoppage time, when Helder Costa launched from the right and sent a cross pass that reached Romarinho while he was facing the Al-Mayouf goal, but he strangely threw it over the goal.
Romarinho started the second half with a powerful shot from outside the penalty area, which Al-Maouf pushed away.
Al-Hilal almost punished Al-Ittihad for wasting opportunities when Saud Abdel Hamid set off from the right and sent a cross pass that was hit by Odion Ighalo, but goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe saved coach Nuno Santo’s team in the 53rd minute.
And three minutes later, Hamdallah was on a date with perhaps one of the most prominent opportunities in the entire Saudi season.
The Moroccan striker received a long pass from just before the middle of the field and hit it directly, astonishingly, to bounce off the crossbar, while Al-Maouf watched.
The ball bounced back to Romarinho, who returned it, praise be to God, to shoot it directly again, but Al-Mayouf turned it away for a corner this time, amid the astonishment of Ramon Diaz, Al Hilal coach.
Romarinho missed another opportunity for Al-Ittihad six minutes before the end when he slowed down to pass to Bruno Henrique, who fired it to remove Al-Maouf.
Al-Hilal owes credit to Al-Maouf for extending the match to extra time when he saved Romarinho’s attempt from Henrique’s cross in the 89th minute.
The attack bounced back to Al-Hilal, and Ighalo passed the ball to Musa Marega to put him in the face of Grohe, but the Al-Ittihad goalkeeper was the fastest to reach the ball.
Al-Ittihad was close to qualifying when Igor Coronado exchanged passing the ball with Hamdallah, but defender Muhammad Jahfli intervened at the right time to cut the ball from the Brazilian player.
From a counterattack, the ball reached Mariga, but he collided with substitute Omar Hawsawi, Al Ittihad defender, to go out to a goal kick at the end of stoppage time.
Grohe pushed away substitute Luciano Vietto’s shot from Al-Hilal, ten minutes into the first extra period.
And the Al-Ittihad fans breathed a sigh of relief when they saw another pass from Vito passing just past the goal, amid the heartbreak of Al-Hilal’s substitutes.
At the beginning of the second extra period, Marega sent a cross pass from the right, but Hegazy turned it into his own goal to give Al-Hilal the lead.
Al-Ittihad players lost their focus after conceding their net and settled for long-range shots that did not disturb the brilliant Maouf.