Egypt’s Al Ahly defeated by Real Madrid in Club World Cup semifinals

Africa’s hopes of reaching a third Club World Cup final were dashed on Wednesday after Real Madrid of Europe defeated Al Ahly of Egypt 4-1 in the semifinal.

Three minutes before halftime, Vinicius Jr. opened the scoring, and immediately after the break, Federico Valverde doubled the lead, forcing Al Ahly’s well-organized defense to fold.

After an hour had passed, the Red Devils continued to play brilliantly, and the pressure paid off when Hussein El Shahat was tripped inside the box by Eduardo Camavinga.

Ali Maaloul of Tunisia converted the penalty in the 65th minute to make the score 2-1.

In a hectic second stanza, Al Ahly had their moments. Hussein El Shahat and substitute Percy Tau both caused problems for Real Madrid’s defense while Mohamed Afsha wasted a close-range opportunity that would have given his team the equalizer.

By saving Luka Modric’s penalty in the 87th minute, Mohammed El Shenawy prevented the 14-time European champions from scoring their third goal.

However, two outstanding goals from Rodrygo and the substitute Sergio Arribas in stoppage time sealed a convincing victory for Real.

Prior to Real Madrid taking on Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in the championship match on Saturday, Al Ahly will play Flamengo of Brazil in the third-place play-off.

Coach Marcel Koller of Al Ahly was upset with his team’s loss, poor defensive play, and squandered opportunities in the second half.

Koller stated, “It’s a frustrating outcome because the team played effectively against Real Madrid but missed the scoring opportunities.

“Given what we saw of Flamengo’s previous game against Al Hilal here, as a team we will enter the contest against them feeling highly optimistic.

We battle again on Saturday despite our defeat tonight.

Al Ahly, one of the most successful teams in the world and the most decorated team in Africa, frequently makes it to the tournament’s final four.

The 10-time African champions, who have yet to defeat a European team at this level, came in third place in 2006, 2020, and 2021.

The best African results at the competition came from TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Raja Casablanca of Morocco, who placed second in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

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