Al Hilal beats Al Sadd 4-1 in 1st leg of Asian CL semifinal

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia beat Qatar’s Al Sadd 4-1 Tuesday in the first leg of the Asian Champions League semifinals in Doha.

The convincing victory puts Al Hilal within sight of a first final since losing to Western Sydney Wanderers in 2014.

Al Sadd, champion in 2011 and now coached by former Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez, took the lead after 14 minutes through an own goal from Hilal’s French striker Bafetimbi Gomis. However, the former France international made amends just after the half-hour by equalizing for the visitors.

Al Sadd’s hopes suffered another blow within two minutes as Adbelkarim Hassan was sent off for a second yellow card.

Ali Hadi Albulayhi put Hilal ahead on the stroke of halftime and the away team extended the lead with an own goal from Salem Al Hajri on the hour mark. Mohammad Al-Shalhoub made it 4-1 midway through the second half.

The second leg takes place in Riyadh on Oct.22. The winner will play either Guangzhou Evergrande of China or Japan’s Urawa Reds in the final.