LONDON: Bafetimbi Gomis has called on Al-Hilal not to get ahead of themselves after they beat Al-Duhail 3-1 in the AFC Champions League.
That victory was the Riyadh club’s second straight win in this year’s competition and leaves them top of Group C, three points ahead of the Qatari club and five ahead of UAE champions Al-Ain and Iran outfit Esteghlal F.C.
Al-Duhail’s new signing Shoya Nakajima’s 75th-minute strike had canceled out a first-half Carlos Eduardo goal, but Ali Al-Bulayhi put the hosts ahead again in the 77th minute. Gomis, one of the stars of the show, then put the result beyond doubt with a well-taken finish with 10 minutes left at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh.
It was yet another impressive performance from Al-Hilal, the sort of showing that has already made them one of the favorites to go all the way in the AFC Champions League this year.
But keen to keep his teammates’ feet on the ground, the Riyadh giants’ big summer signing has warned them to focus on the job at hand and take it one match at a time.
“It was a team job (against Al-Duhail),” the French striker said. “The staff, the players, the fans — together we’re stronger. Keep our focus lads.” He added: “Thanks to the fans for your support.”
Al-Hilal’s form in the continental competition this year is in stark contrast to 12 months ago when, having reached the final of Asia’s premier club competition just months before, they fell at the first hurdle, exiting at the group stage.
What has made the performances all the more impressive is that they have beaten both UAE and Qatar champions without four key men. Omar Abdulrahman, Salman Al-Faraj, Abdullah Otayf and Nawaf Al-Abed are all currently out of action with injuries.
Al-Hilal’s next continental clash is away to Esteghlal on April 8.
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