Al Hilal were eliminated from the group stages of the AFC Champions League for the first time since 2006 after losing to Al Ain 2-1 today and gaining just 2 points from 5 games in the 2018 edition of the competition. The team that finished runners-up of the 2017 edition failed to better the likes of Esteghlal, Al Rayyan and Al Ain and are winless ever since their semi-final thrashing of Persepolis last year.
They drew with Al Ain 0-0 in the first matchday, before losing to Esteghlal 1-0 in the second matchday. They drew once again when they faced Al Rayyan in the third matchday but lost to them 2-0 in the fourth matchday before following their poor performances with a loss to Al Ain at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium tonight. Al Ain were awarded three penalties and scored two of them to defeat Al Hilal.
This is a big blow to Al Hilal as they have reached two finals and one semi-final in three of their last four AFC Champions League appearances, but ever since the turn of the year Al Hilal have been in poor form, which lead to the eventual sacking of Ramon Diaz.
The Blue Wave still have an upcoming match, however, which may decide their season. That is the big encounter they have with Al Ahli on April the 7th, which will decide the Saudi Pro League title.