Japanese J-League outfit Urawa Red Diamonds claimed a 1-1 draw against Saudi giants Al Hilal in the first leg of their AFC Champions League final at the King Fahad International Stadium in Riyadh on Saturday.
Syrian striker Omar Kharbin was the hero for the hosts as he equalised in the 37th minute, after Rafael Silva's eighth goal of the tournament had stunned a large crowd in the Saudi capital.
Brazilian Silva took good advantage of a poor clearance by Salman al-Faraj with a fine solo run down the left flank before cutting inside and firing home a crucial away goal.
Al Hilal goalkeeper Abdulla al-Mayouf could have easily prevented the goal but al-Faraj's interference proved disastrous as it put the ball into Silva's path, who made no mistake from close range.
The hosts suffered a big blow when Carlos Eduardo limped off with a muscle injury in the 18th minute and was replaced by Nawaf al-Abid.
Home side domination
But that didn't stop them from dominating the rest of the first half, with Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa making a string of fine saves.
Kharbin wasted a couple of chances before finally making amends, controlling a pass from Salem al-Dawsari and scoring to help the Saudi giants restore parity.
Al Hilal maintained their domination but failed to make good of the few half-chances that came their way, with Kharbin coming close to scoring in 90th minute, but his diving header proved weak.
Al Hilal now travel to Saitama for the second leg on November 25, hoping to prevent Urawa Reds from adding to their 2007 title.