AFC Champions League

Urawa Red Diamonds crowned AFC Champions League champions

Urawa Red Diamonds have been crowned AFC Champions League champions for a second time on Saturday after a 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal in the second leg of the final.

In a goalless first half of few chances at Saitama Stadium, Rafael Silva scored two minutes from time to help Reds add to the continental title they won 10 years ago.

Reds, who also earned a place at the Club World Cup starting in the United Arab Emirates on December 6, became the first Japanese AFC Champions League winners since Gamba Osaka lifted the trophy in 2008.

“The joy is difficult to put into words,” said man of the match Silva , who had been an injury concern after hurting his ankle in the first leg in Riyadh last weekend, as quoted by Kyodo News.

“It was really hard to overcome the injury this past week. Despite the difficulties everyone has come through so I am really pleased about that.”

“We were pumped 100 percent full of adrenaline and our fans pushed us on, we would not have been able to win it without them,” he added.