Al Hilal edged Urawa Red Diamonds 1-0 in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh with Andre Carrillo scoring the winning goal with a header in the second half.
The result represents the first win for the Saudi Arabian club against Urawa in AFC Champions League history.
The hosts were on top of proceedings in the first half, but Urawa keeper Haruki Fukushima was up to anything that Razvan Lucescu's side threw his way, with Sebastian Giovinco being the primary threat.
The Italian forward nearly found the opening goal in the 29th minute, but Takuya Aoki saved his team with a goalline clearance.
There was nothing Fukushima and company could do about Carrillo's close-ranger header a quarter of an hour into the second half, however.
The Peruvian international, who was the source of a lot of Al Hilal's attacking production on the evening, headed in from Mohammed Al-Burayk's cross.
Substitute Nawaf Al Abed nearly added a second Al Hilal goal at the death, but his half-volleyed finish from close range hit the side netting.
Al Hilal held on to their deserved lead and will travel to Japan in two weeks' time to contest the second leg with their slight advantage.