- seal ～
- final (match)
- 決勝（後出 quarterfinal は準々決勝）
- come close to scoring
- hard work
- dribble a ball past ～
- send ～ off
- play a pass toward ～
- spin (→spun) away from ～
- blast ... keeper
- 不振に陥る（後出 fall short of ～ は～に至らない）
- deliver a result
- one-on-one duel
- (be) set to appear ～
Urawa Reds' Rafael Silva scored an 88th-minute goal to seal a thrilling 2-1 aggregate win against Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League (ACL) final on Nov. 25 in Saitama.
The 1-0 second-leg victory followed a 1-1 draw in the final's first leg in Riyadh. The ACL title is Urawa's second, having won it previously in 2007. It is also the third title for a Japanese club, the last won by Gamba Osaka in 2008. The Reds are the fourth team with two ACL titles.
Enjoying more possession, Saudi league high-flyers Al Hilal came close to scoring many times, but Urawa didn't concede a goal with hard work and dedication while maintaining a high level of concentration. In the 78th minute, Salem Aldawsari, who had repeatedly dribbled the ball past Urawa's players, was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. Later, Reds' Muto Yuki played a pass toward Silva － who spun away from his marker, and blasted the ball past the keeper.
After the match, Silva let the tears flow, saying he was "unspeakably happy," adding, "We were made strong by everyone's support," thanking the ecstatic red-clad fans in Saitama Stadium, packed with 57,727 spectators.
Urawa slumped a few months after the J-League season began, and brought in new manager Hori Takafumi in July. Taking over the management in the middle of the season, Hori tried to rebuild the club, but fell short of delivering results in the J-League. However, the team didn't give up hope of achieving something. They fought tirelessly in the ACL tournament, winning one-on-one duels － which some regard as rare for a Japanese team － to win all seven of its home games.
Reds captain Abe Yuki, who also played in the 2007 ACL final, had tears in his eyes as he said, "This is the result of everyone on the team fighting hard. It's good to see the smiling faces of the players and the fans."
Urawa Reds are set to appear in the quarterfinal of the FIFA Club World Cup on Dec. 9 in the United Arab Emirates.
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