AFC Champions League 2019 winners Al Hilal Saudi FC have displaced 2018 champions Kashima Antlers as the No. 1 club side in Asia in the AFC Club Rankings.
According to FootyRankings, the Saudi Professional League club’s 2-0 win over IR Iran’s Shahr Khodro FC in the AFC Champions League 2020 this week means that they have overtaken Japanese outfit Kashima who were knocked out in the ACL 2020 qualifiers.
Al Hilal were lying in third despite winning Asia’s premier club football competition last season, but they have now accumulated enough points to leap over Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG and Kashima to attain the No. 1 status in the continent.
Kashima are currently second followed by SIPG in third while Qatar Stars League side Al Duhail SC and China PR’s Guangzhou Evergrande FC come in at fourth and fifth respectively in the latest update of the AFC Club Rankings.
Meanwhile, among the Southeast Asian clubs, Philippines’ Ceres-Negros FC who became the No. 1 ASEAN side in Asia last month overtaking Thai League 1 giants Buriram United have continued their accent.
Their 4-0 thrashing of Cambodia’s Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC in the AFC Cup 2020 group stage opener has seen them climb from 25th in Asia last month to the 24th place in the latest update.
Buriram United, who are missing out on continental football this season, are No. 2 in ASEAN at the 26th position.
Another Thai League side Muangthong United are third in the Southeast Asian region, but have seen themselves fall to 36th in Asia in the latest update.
Singapore Premier League outfit Home United are fourth in ASEAN with a ranking of 47.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) who were fighting for the top spot in ASEAN with Buriram and Ceres in recent times, have fallen to 48th place in Asia and are now fifth among ASEAN clubs falling below the Protectors.