Al Hilal’s Carlos Eduardo dreams of ACL glory

Following his match-winning display against Al Ain, Al Hilal forward Carlos Eduardo wants his side to go all the way and win the AFC Champions League this season.

Carlos Eduardo produced a ruthless display of finishing on Monday evening as his hat-trick helped the Saudi outfit to a 3-0 aggregate victory over Al Ain in the quarter-finals.

Next up is another tricky test against Iran’s Persepolis but, having tasted plenty of domestic success with Al Hilal, the 27-year-old is aiming for continental glory in 2017.

“The AFC Champions League is the only trophy I am yet to win at Al Hilal,” the Brazilian said on the official AFC website.

“I know our fans are eager to win it, so we will have to work hard to bring the trophy home and make them happy.”

Monday’s clash at the King Fahd International Stadium had been expected to be a much closer tie, especially following a 0-0 draw between the sides in the first leg.

Carlos Eduardo, however, was just one of several to put in an inspirational performances, with midfielder Nicolas Milesi and centre-back Osama Hawsawi also contributing to an overall display that greatly pleased manager Ramon Diaz.

“I asked the players to play in a calm fashion, as one system and to not be hasty,” explained the Argentine.

“I was optimistic about winning despite missing key players; I had confidence in the players and the high spirits of the team.”

Al Hilal will not have to wait long for continental action again with the first leg of their meeting with Persepolis to take place on September 26.

And, following an impressive showing, the two-time champions will have good reason to be optimistic.

“We got an important and deserved victory over a difficult opponent and we now hope the positive results keep coming,” added Al Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf.