The reigning La Liga Champion, Real Madrid swept the Egyptian side Al-Ahly to clear the path to the FIFA Club World Cup finals.
Once again, Los Blancos are through to the Club World Cup final after demolishing Al-Ahly 4-1 in the semi-finals fixture with goals score by Vinicius Jr, Fede Valverde, Rodrygo, and Sergio Arribas to put Real Madrid as a favorite to take home the FIFA Club World Cup trophy and booked the meeting with Saudi club Al-Hilal.
The Spanish side is aiming for their fifth title, having won the 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018 editions. Playing this tournament without key players like the 2022 Ballon D’Or winner Karim Benzema and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Despite that, the European Giant still got an experience of the home field environment – as local fans in Morocco tuned up and cheered for Real Madrid’s convincing victory.
Despite the huge gap on the final result, it does not tell the whole story as the African side, Al-Ahly fought hard and gave Real Madrid a little bit of a run for their money – with their well-organized defense which mostly capitalized on Madrid’s first option, Vinicius Jr., but the Brazilian international still got through and scored in the last three minutes with Frederico Valverde doubling the lead before the half-time break.
Al-Ahly provided opportunities during the very intense second-half battle. Mohamed Afsha missed the close range that could be the possible equalizer, while Hussein El Shahat and substitute Percy Tau both punished Real Madrid’s lack of marquee players on the defensive ends, but still not enough to pull an upset.
However, Rodrygo and the unexpected substitute Sergio Arribas both scored a respective goal in stoppage time to seal a comfortable victory for Real Madrid. With this defeat, Al-Ahly will play Brazil’s representative Flamengo in the third place battle, while Real Madrid and the Saudi Arabia side Al Hilal will play the final chapter of the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup.
“It’s a frustrating result because the team competed well against Real Madrid but failed to take advantage of the scoring opportunities,” said Al Ahly Coach Marcel Koller. “As a team, we will go into the game against Flamengo feeling strongly confident because we’ve seen their last game here against Al Hilal.
“We lost today but we will fight again on Saturday.”
Despite losing this semi-final match against the formidable Real Madrid, the African side is still considered one of the most decorative teams in the world. The 10-time African Champions, who are still looking for their first victory against European Giants at this tournament, already finished third place in 2006, 2020, and 2021.
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