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Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal sets record for most consecutive wins in men’s soccer

By George Ramsay, CNN

(CNN) — Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal set the world record for the most consecutive victories in men’s soccer on Tuesday, defeating Al-Ittihad 2-0 in the AFC Champions League.

It was Al-Hilal’s 28th win in a row, beating the previous record set by Welsh team The New Saints in the 2016/17 season.

Before that, Dutch giant Ajax had held the record for 44 years after a 26-game winning streak between 1971 and 1972.

“Everyone at Al Hilal is delighted to achieve world football history by winning 28 consecutive matches,” said manager Jorge Jesus. “This is truly an incredible achievement and I want to thank everyone at the club for their part in this momentous winning record.”

Holding a 2-0 advantage going into the second leg of Tuesday’s quarterfinal, Al-Hilal almost fell behind when Romarinho hit the post in the first half.

The home side dominated much of the opening stages of the match in Jeddah, and it took until the 61st minute for left-back Yasser Al-Shahrani to give the Blue Waves the lead.

Any chances of an unlikely comeback disappeared for Al-Ittihad when Abderrazak Hamdallah was red carded for grabbing Ali Al-Bulaihi by the throat before Malcom scored Al-Hilal’s second in stoppage time.

“Records do not matter as much as trophies,” Jesus added. “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, looking for a fifth Asian title, will next play Al Ain in the Champions League semifinals after the Emirati side knocked Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr out of the competition on Monday.

Al-Hilal, whose winning run started on September 25, last lost a game on August 12.

Undefeated in the Saudi Pro League this season, the team is 12 points clear of Al-Nassr at the top of the table. More impressive still is that the success has come largely without star player Neymar, who underwent major knee surgery in November.

According to Guinness World Records, Olympique Lyonnais Féminin has the most consecutive wins in soccer – men’s or women’s – with 41 across all competitions between 2012 and 2013.

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