Diaz and Crespo… Compete after the glory of River Plate

The confrontation of Al-Hilal’s first football team and Al-Duhail, Qatar, in the semi-finals of the 2022 AFC Champions League, brings together two Argentine coaches, who had previously worked together in the Argentine River Plate in the mid-nineties, and at that time Ramon Diaz, the Al-Hilal coach, was leading the Argentine team, and his compatriot Hernan Crespo, the Al-Duhail coach, was a player in ranks of the same team.
Diaz and Crespo made glory with the River Plate team, when the club won the Copa Libertadores championship in 1996, and the team crowned the Argentine league title in the same year, before Crespo became professional in the Italian stadiums with the Parma team.
Hernan Crespo shone under the leadership of coach Ramon Diaz at River Plate, scoring 10 goals with one assist in 14 Copa Libertadores matches, in addition to scoring 6 goals in 19 matches in the Argentine League.
Crespo has assumed technical duties in Al-Duhail, Qatar, since March 24, 2022, leading him in 24 matches so far, during which he has achieved 19 wins with 3 draws and only two losses, with his qualification to the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League after defeating Al-Shabab in the quarter-finals.
Hernan Crespo has previously led a group of clubs in Europe and South America, where he coached the Brazilian team Sao Paulo, Italian Parma under 19 years old, Italian Modena, Argentine Defense Justicia, and Argentine Banfield as well.
On the other hand, Diaz leads the Al-Hilal team for the second time after his first term during the period from 2016 to 2018, and the Argentine coach previously trained many teams such as River Plate, San Lorenzo, Club America, in addition to leading the Paraguay national team, and Arab teams such as the Egyptian Pyramids, with experience Short with the Al-Ittihad team in 2018.
Tactically, Al Duhail coach Hernan Crespo relies on a 4-2-3-1 drawing, relying on a group of local and professional players in various lines, led by Michael Olonga, the striker, and behind him the trio Edmilson Jr., Nam Te, and Al-Moez Ali, and in the midfield duo Boudiaf. And Junior, in front of the quartet behind Youssef Ayman, Fernandez, Al Naimi, and Al-Rawi, and in the goal Salah Zakaria.
For its part, the Hilal team continues its Asian career under the leadership of Diaz, who also relies on the 4-2-3-1 plan, with the presence of Al-Mayouf in the goal, behind the quartet Al Bulayhi, Gang, Saud Abdul Hamid, and Nasser Al-Dosari, and in the middle the duo Kno and Cuellar, behind the trio. Salman Al-Faraj, Luciano Vito, and Salem Al-Dosari, with Musa Marega in the lead.
It is noteworthy that the winner between Al-Hilal and Al-Duhail will meet in the final with Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan, where the first leg will be played on April 29 at the home of the qualified team from the West region, and the return match will be on May 6 at Saitama Stadium 2002 in Japan.

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