Al Hilal’s record 34 game winning streak snapped by Al Ain

Al Hilal‘s record breaking run of 34 consecutive wins came to a shuddering halt on Wednesday as the Saudi Pro League (SPL) leaders were beaten 4-2 by hosts Al Ain in the first leg of their Asian Champions League semifinal.

Soufiane Rahimi’s first half hat trick put the Hernan Crespo-coached side from the United Arab Emirates on the cusp of a spot in next month’s final as the Riyadh-based outfit’s run came to an end.

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Al Hilal’s loss, which was the first time they have failed to win in all competitions since a 1-1 SPL draw with Damak on Sept. 21, came after the game at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium had been delayed for 24 hours due to widespread flooding across the UAE.

Rahimi put his side in front with six minutes on the clock, stroking the ball into the bottom corner of Mohammed Al-Owais‘ goal after Yahia Nader‘s pass trundled through to the Morocco international inside the penalty area.

Rahimi doubled his side’s advantage 20 minutes later with a penalty after Al-Owais had upended the striker as he raced into the area to latch onto another Nader pass and the 27-year-old picked himself off the turf to score the spot-kick.

Al Ain were given a second penalty after a lengthy VAR review following Ali Al-Bulayhi‘s miss-timed tackle on Erik Jorgens, with referee Adham Makhadameh eventually confirming his original decision and Rahimi converted in the 38th minute.

Striker Malcom pulled one back from close range for Al Hilal four minutes into the second half when Sergej Milinkovic-Savic drove into the home side’s penalty area to set the Brazilian up to score.

Another Al Ain penalty in the 55th minute, this time scored by Paraguay international Kaku after Rahimi had been upended by Kalidou Koulibaly, restored Al Ain’s three-goal cushion but Salem Al-Dawsari netted with 12 minutes left to give his side hope.

The winner of the tie will face either Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea or Japan’s Yokohama F Marinos next month in the two-legged final.

Ulsan hold a 1-0 lead ahead of next Wednesday’s second leg in Japan after Lee Dong-Gyeong’s 19th minute strike earned Hong Myung-Bo’s outfit a narrow win at home.

The first leg of the final will be held in east Asia on May 11 with the return clash on the western side of the confederation two weeks later.