Ahly Club World Cup semi-final jinx continues after Fluminense defeat

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Dec 2023

Ahly's Club World Cup semi-final jinx continued as they suffered a 2-0 defeat against Fluminense of Brazil in Jeddah on Monday.

Ahly
Fluminense s Brazilian midfielder #10 Ganso vies with Ahly s Egyptian midfielder #13 Marwan Attia during the FIFA Club World Cup football semi-final football match between Brazil s Fluminense and Egypt s Al-Ahly at King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah on December 18, 2023. AFP

 

This marks the sixth time that the Red Devils have failed to advance to the finals at this stage of the tournament.

Fluminense secured their spot in the final with two second-half goals.

Jhon Arias and substitute striker John Kennedy found the net in the 71st and 90th minutes, respectively.

Fluminense will now face the winner of the other semi-final between European champions Manchester City and Asian Champions Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan in the final, scheduled for Friday.

Despite a strong performance from Ahly, their forwards' poor finishing proved costly as they squandered numerous clear scoring opportunities.

Fluminense had the first chance of the game, but Arias' powerful volley from close range hit the post.

Although the Brazilian side had more possession, Ahly posed a threat with their quick counters, exploiting Fluminense's slow defense.

El Shahat had a shot blocked by the last defender, and goalkeeper Fabio rescued his team by denying Kahraba's header from point-blank range.

Fabio also made a crucial save to block a header from Ahly defender Yasser Ibrahim, who came close to opening the scoring for his side.

The second half saw a different performance from Fluminense as they pressed Ahly players early on, preventing them from building their attacks effectively.

Ten minutes after the break, Kahraba had a fast counter but his effort was easily saved by the goalkeeper who denied another chance from El-Shahat eight minutes later.

Former Real Madrid fullback Marcelo won a penalty in the 70th minute after a careless foul by Ahly's South African winger Percy Taw inside the area.

Colombian winger Jhon Arias converted the penalty, giving Fluminense the lead.

Percy Taw had an opportunity to quickly equalize, but his header from close range was stopped by the goalkeeper just a minute later.

On the other hand, Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawi made a heroic save to deny John Kennedy's shot from close range in the 86th minute.

However, he was unable to stop Kennedy from adding a second goal four minutes later, sealing the game for Fluminense.

Ahly will now face the loser of the match between Manchester City and Urawa Red Diamonds in the third-place match on Friday.

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