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    The loss of Al-Hilal ignites frantic race for Saudi Pro League title


    May 8, 2023
    The loss of Al-Hilal ignites frantic race for Saudi Pro League title

    Saudi Gazette report

    RIYADH , The champions of the Roshn Saudi League or the Saudi Professional League during the current season of 2022-2023 will have a historic opportunity to represent the country in the FIFA Club World Cup. This is after Al-Hilal, the defending champion of the AFC Champions League, suffered a defeat at the hands of the Japanese Urawa Red Diamonds in the AFC finals. Saudi Arabia is hosting the FIFA Club World Cup tournament in December this year.

    The loss of Al-Hilal has been instrumental in igniting a frantic race among the leading clubs that came in the first positions in the Saudi Pro League. The winner of the Pro League will get a golden opportunity to play in the Club World Cup. By defeating Al-Hilal in the two-leg final matches of the AFC Champions League in an aggregate 2–1, the Japanese team Urawa became the official representative of the Asian continent in the Club World Cup after winning the title of Asian Champions.

    The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) stated earlier that the Saudi club Al-Hilal would participate in the Club World Cup if it wins the AFC Champions League title for the year 2022. However, if no Saudi team wins the Asian title, then the Professional League champions in the current 2022-2023 season will participate in the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup.

    The champions of the Saudi Roshn Pro League will also have the opportunity to participate in the Saudi Super Cup in 2023, in addition to its participation in the AFC Champions League for the year 2024, as the champion of the Saudi Professional League (SPL) during the 2022-2023 season, according to the regulations announced earlier by the Asian Football Confederation.

    Saudi Arabia will host the 20th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup, from December 12 to 22. Champion clubs from various continents will be participating in the tournament in addition to the SPL champions during the current season.

    Al-Ittihad team tops the SPL point rates during the 2022-2023 season, with 59 points, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr Club is in second place with 56 points while Al-Shabab comes third with 53 points, and Al-Hilal in fourth. place with 49 points while only five rounds left until the end of the current season.

    Meanwhile, Hiroki Sakai, defender of the Japanese team Urawa Red Diamonds was named the best player in the AFC Champions League, after leading his team to crowning the title, while Edmilson Junior, the Qatari striker of Al-Duhail, was crowned the tournament’s top To install scorer award.

    The Asian Football Confederation indicated, on its website, that Hiroki Sakai played a pivotal role in Urawa’s journey towards winning the title, especially during the two final round matches against Al-Hilal, where the Japanese team succeeded in limiting the danger of the Saudi team. . Edmilson Junior, the Qatari striker of Al-Duhail, won the AFC Champions League top scorer award, with 8 goals.

    The Belgian striker became the second player in a row from Al-Duhail Club to win the AFC Champions League top scorer award, as his colleague Machael Olunga won the award in the 2021 edition with 9 goals.

    Edmilson’s eight goals came in six matches during the group stage, including hat-trick goals in the match in which Al-Duhail defeated Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan, in addition to scoring two goals against Saudi Arabia’s Al-Taawoun and Iranian Sepahan.

    Edmilson won the award even though he was unable to score a goal during the knockout rounds, as Al-Duhail qualified for the semi-finals before losing to Al-Hilal.

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