Esperance lose to Al Sadd 2-1 at Club World Cup

Reuters , Sunday 11 Dec 2011

Tunisia’s Esperance lose to Qatari side Al-Sadd 2-1 on Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the Club World Cup in Japan where they will face Spanish giants Barcelona

Qatar's Al-Sadd Sports Club forward Khalfan Al Khalfan (14) is celebrated by teammates after scoring his team's first goal against Tunisia's Esperance Sportive de Tunis during their quarterfinal match of the FIFA Club World Cup soccer in Toyota (Photo: AP)

The Qatari side took the lead against the run of play in Toyota when Khalfan Al-Khalfan headed home after a powerful run down the right from Kader Keita in the 33rd minute.

Three minutes into the second half, Doha-based Al-Sadd doubled their lead when captain Abdulla Koni swept home a Lee Jung-soo knockdown from point-blank range.

Esperance grabbed a lifeline on the hour mark when skipper Oussama Darragi’s flicked headed crept in at the far post but he was furious to be substituted a little over 10 minutes later.

The Tunisians twice had goals ruled offside in a frantic final few minutes but ultimately paid for their wastefulness in front of goal.

Barcelona left for the Far East immediately after beating Real Madrid 3-1 in Saturday’s ‘Clasico’ to leapfrog their bitter rivals at the top of La Liga.

Barca take on Al-Sadd on 15 December in Yokohama with the final of the seven-team tournament at the same venue three days later.

Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol were playing Mexican side Monterrey in the second quarter-final later on Sunday.

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