Al Hilal progress to semi-final of AFC Champions League with victory that breaks world record for consecutive wins

March 13 – Saudi side Al Hilal have broken the world record for top flight consecutive wins, moving to 28 matches in all competitions – more than any team in football history.

On Tuesday night, the leaders of the Roshn Saudi League beat Al Ittihad 2-0 victory over Al Ittihad in Jeddah in the AFC Champions League to surpass the previous record set by Welsh club The New Saints.

Their winning streak had run for 27 games in the 2016-17 season. Before that, the record stood for 44 years following Dutch giants Ajax’s 26-game winning streak between 1971 and 1972.

Yasser Alshahrani and Malcom scored the decisive goals for Al Hilal to send them to the semi finals.

Al Hilal manager Jorge Jesus said: “Everyone at Al Hilal is delighted to achieve world football history by winning 28 consecutive matches. This is truly an incredible achievement and I want to thank everyone at the club for their part in this momentous winning record – the President, the board of directors, the players, my staff and the fans.

“As I have said throughout this period, however, records do not matter as much as trophies. It is up to everyone at Al Hilal to ensure that we close out the season as Roshn Saudi League champions and meet our targets in the cup competitions. Only then can we truly celebrate.”

Al Hilal’s 28-game winning streak is made even more remarkable by the absence of their record signing, Neymar, who joined the team for a Saudi league record-high €90 million in the summer. The Brazilian sustained a season-ending injury while on international duty in October and has only played in two matches during the successful streak.

“Losing Neymar to injury was a significant blow but our team has come together magnificently. Everyone throughout the squad has contributed this season so far – both our other major international players and talented Saudi Arabian players. It has very much been a squad effort. I reiterate, however, that what is important now is that the squad continues to work hard in our aim of securing trophies this season. That’s what matters most for Al Hilal,” said Jesus.

Al Hilal remain undefeated this season, leading the Saudi League by 12 points having also secured a place in the semi-finals of the King’s Cup. Their record-breaking streak began on September 25, with standout victories including a 3-0 win over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr in the Riyadh Derby in December.

Al Nassr were knocked out of the AFC Champions League on Monday after a thrilling penalty shootout with Al Ain. Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo scored an important penalty in the 118th minute to send Al Nassr into the shootout, but will regret missing a simple chance earlier in the match from three yards out.

Korean side Ulsan and Japanese outfit Yokohama FM also progressed to the semi final stage with victories over Jeonbuk and Shangdong Taishan respectively.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1713322359labto1713322359ofdlr1713322359owedi1713322359sni@g1713322359niwe.1713322359yrrah1713322359

 


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