Grant denied as Al-Hilal lift Asian title

West Australian Alex Grant has a runners-up medal after his Pohang Steelers team were beaten 2-0 in the final of the Asian Champions League by Al Hilal.

Former Perth Glory defender Alex Grant has finished on the losing side in the Asian Champions League final after Pohang Steelers were beaten 2-0 by Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal.

His South Korean club were clear underdogs, missing key players and forced to play the final, reduced to a single match due to COVID-19, in front of around 50,000 opposition fans in Riyadh.

Al-Hilal, led by former Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, included French striker Bafetombi Gomis and Brazilian Matheus Pereira, who was West Bromwich Albion's best player last season.

Steelers' task quickly became even harder when they conceded to Nasser Al-Dawsari after just 16 seconds after he unleashed a fierce shot from outside the area.

After that early shock the 27-year-old West Australian and his team-mates settled and nearly levelled 10 minutes later when midfielder Sin Jin-ho hit the bar from range.

But Al-Hilal controlled most of the game, and Steelers went further behind after 63 minutes when Gomis released ex-Porto striker Moussa Marega to score.

Steelers rarely threatened to claw their way back as Al Hilal clinched a record fourth title.

"When you concede a goal that early in the game, you are always going to be against it," Grant said. "We knew coming into the game that it was going to be tough as they have great quality players. They were the better team."