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VIDEO: Guerrero’s header downs Ahly to send Corinthians through to the Club World Cup final
The Brazilian Copa Libertadores champions managed a narrow 1-0 victory over Egyptian CAF Champions League winners Al-Ahly to secure their place in the FIFA Club World Cup final for the first time since 2000.
Ex-Bayern Munich striker Paulo Guerrero scored Corinthians’s only goal shortly before the half-hour mark with a well taken header from Douglas’s high cross.
Al-Ahly came into the game missing their injured key midfielder Hossam Ghaly. The club’s captain suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the quarter final game versus Sanfrecce Hiroshima and is expected to be out for at least 6 months. Ahly manager Hossam El-Badry opted to play with the exact same line-up, replacing Ghaly with young centre-back Rami Rabia.
Although Guerrero scored first for the Brazilian side, it was Al-Ahly who wasted an assortment of chances as the game progressed. Chances from Rabia, El-Sayed Hamdy and Ahmed Fathi were squandered as the Egyptian club failed to capitalize on the constant applied pressure and chances. To make matters worse, Egyptian goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy made way for Abou El-Saoud in the second half after suffering a hamstring injury that will likely keep him out of the club’s final game in the third place play-off. After coming on in the second half, Abou-Treika’s influence on the game grew, but failed to inspire an Al-Ahly comeback, as the Brazilians held out for a narrow 1-0 victory.
Corinthians will play the winner from Chelsea/CF Monterrey for the Club World Cup while Al-Ahly still have a chance to earn some silverware as they face off the loser in the third place game. Both games are played on the 16th of December.
(Image courtesy of fifa.com)