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Hiroshima striker still disappointed over losing to Al Ahly

Hiroshima striker

Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Sanfrecce Hiroshima striker Hisato Sato revealed that he is still frustrated over losing to Al Ahly in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan.

Sato was part of the Japanese team when they lost 2-1 to Egyptian side Al Ahly in the tournament’s quarter-final and finished in the fifth place.

“I’m still disappointed that I squandered a chance to score a second goal. Our opponents [Al Ahly] grabbed their chances to score but we failed to capitalise on our opportunities,” Sato told the FIFA official website.

Sanfrecce defeated Auckland City in the play-off for the quarter-finals before losing to Al Ahly. They however claimed the fifth place after defeating Ulsan Hyundai of Korea Republic 3-2.

“It would have been a thrill to beat the African champions, then the South American champions, and then pit ourselves against Europe’s strongest team for the first time. However, we failed to do that,” he added.

Retired midfielder Mohamed Abou-Treika scored the winner in the second half of the quarter-final game against Sanfrecce. The Red Devils however lost 1-0 against Brazil’s Corinthians in the semi-finals. They also lost the third place after losing 2-0 against Monterrey of Mexico.

“Of course, Al Ahly was an excellent team, and Mohamed Abou-Treika had a huge impact in that game,” he added.

Sanfrecce are set to play against Auckland City FC in a play-off for the quarter-finals of the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan on Thursday. The winner will play against African champions TP Mazembe.

“This year’s African representative, TP Mazembe, also have some accomplished players. To avenge our defeat in 2012, we first have to beat Auckland City and advance to the game against Africa’s champions,” he concluded.

Editor-in-Chief at Pursuing a master's degree in sport policy, management and international development at the University of Edinburgh.

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