Former champions Al Hilal seal ACL semifinal spot

Al Hilal wrapped up a place in the Asian Champions League semifinals as a 2-0 win over fellow Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad in Jeddah's King Abdullah Sports City on Tuesday completed a 4-0 aggregate victory.

Yasser Al-Shahrani struck in the 61st minute and Malcom added a second goal deep in added time after Al Hilal's goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais had frustrated an Al Ittihad side seeking to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit.

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Al Hilal, winners of the title a record four times, will take on Al-Ain in the semifinals next month after the side from the United Arab Emirates eliminated Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr on Monday in a penalty shootout in Riyadh.

It was a world-record 28th straight win in a row for Al Hilal, breaking the previous mark for consecutive victories held by Welsh Premier League outfit The New Saints in the 2016-17 season.

Al Ittihad's hopes suffered an early blow when their midfield - already missing the suspended N'golo Kante - was further weakened when former Liverpool player Fabinho left the field injured in the 15th minute.

Al Hilal players celebrate after scoring a goal against Al Ittihad in the Asian Champions League.
Al Hilal players celebrate after scoring a goal against Al Ittihad in the Asian Champions League.
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Moments later Al Ittihad forward Romarinho, who had seen an early attempt smothered by Al-Owais, thumped his left-foot shot from 20 metres against the base of the post.

Al-Owais then denied Marwan Al-Sahafi as the winger bore down on goal two minutes after the restart as Al Ittihad grew increasingly desperate to make inroads into Al Hilal's first leg lead.

Ahmed Al Ghamdi let fly from distance eight minutes into the second half but again Al-Owais was equal to the task as he threw himself to his right to palm the shot clear.

Al Hilal finally relieved the pressure just after the hour mark when Salem Al-Dawsari released Sergej Milinkovic-Savic into the penalty area and the former Lazio midfielder fed Al-Shahrani to slot past Abdullah Al-Muaiouf.

Tempers flared in the dying moments, with Al Ittihad's Abderrazzaq Hamadallah sent off following a clash with defender Ali Al-Bulayhi before Aleksandar Mitrovic set up Malcom to score the second in the closing seconds.

In the eastern half of the draw, Ulsan Hyundai booked their berth in next month's semi-finals by beating Jeonbuk Motors 1-0 thanks to Seol Young-woo's first-half volley on Tuesday to claim a 2-1 aggregate win over their fellow South Koreans.

Hong Myung-bo's side will face either Japan's Yokohama F Marinos or Shandong Taishan from China in the next round, with the pair due to meet in the second leg of their quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Harry Kewell's Marinos team will take a 2-1 lead into the game at Yokohama International Stadium.