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Asian Champions League: Al Hilal set world record to advance to semi-finals

Asian Champions League: Al Hilal set world record to advance to semi-finals

Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday advanced to the Asian Champions League semifinals with their 28th straight victory, setting a new global record for the most wins in a row. They broke the previous record of 27 straight wins by a top-flight team, set by Welsh outfit The New Saints in 2016, with a 2-0 victory over fellow Saudi team Al Ittihad. Hilal, based in Riyadh, which has previously won four AFC Champions League titles, is the most successful team in the history of the competition.

Hilal, the runners-up from the previous season, won the second leg of the quarterfinal at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium thanks to goals from Brazilian Malcom and Yasser Al Shahrani in the second half, AFP reported.

After Hilal's victory over Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr on Monday through a penalty shootout, the 2003 winners will play Al Ain of the UAE in the last four next month.

Abderrazak Hamdallah, the striker for Ittihad, received a second booking in the last minute of regular time for grabbing Hilal defender Ali Al Bulaihi by the throat, capping off an awful evening for the team.

Numerous altercations broke out between the opposing teams of players as a result of the encounter.

Champions League champions Ittihad missed several important players in 2004 and 2005.

In addition, 2018 World Cup champion N'Golo Kante was suspended after he was sent off in the first leg. Karim Benzema, the 2022 Ballon d'Or winner who was signed by Real Madrid last summer, was again absent due to injury.

But for most of the match, the reigning Saudi Pro League champions posed a bigger threat.

In the seventeenth minute, Romarinho's left-footed effort from the edge of the Hilal penalty area came back off the post, giving Ittihad a near-opening lead.

Mohammed Al Owais, the Hilal goalkeeper, was called upon twice at the beginning of the second half. The Saudi international first stopped Marwan Al Sahafi's low counterattack attempt before springing to his right and expertly deflecting Ahmed Al Ghamdi's hard shot.

However, Hilal secured their semi-final spot in minute 61.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, a Serbian international, was brought in by Salem Al Dawsari to feed Al Shahrani, who put a low shot past Abdullah Al Mayouf, the goalkeeper for Ittihad.

Deep into injury time, Malcom sealed the victory by latching onto Aleksandar Mitrovic's through pass to give the Riyadh giants a night to remember.

Hilal has won their last nine Champions League games and currently leads the Saudi Pro League by 12 points. The last time they won the trophy was in 2021.

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TAGS:FootballAl HilalAsian Champions League
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