FIFA Club World Cup: Corinthians sink Al-Ahly 1-0 to earn final place

Lintao Zhang

Corinthians edged out Al-Ahly in a nervy game to ensure their progress to the final in a game in which both sides should have scored more.

South American champions Corinthians saw off Al-Ahly to reach the final of the Club World Cup as they defeated the African Champions 1-0 in Japan.

Paolo Guerrero scored the only goal of the game in the 30th minute when he met Douglas' cross with a perfectly-placed header which landed just inside the post.

The Brazilian team had been dominant since the kickoff, and almost took the lead earlier when a long throw-in into the box eluded the Al-Ahly defenders, which Guerrero headed out to the waiting Douglas on the edge of the area, but his short just crept wide.

Al-Ahly should have been in the lead first, however - just afterwards, Soliman sent in a free-kick and Rabia completely escaped the Corinthians offside trap to be presented with a golden headed chance, but put the ball wide of the post with Cassio in no-mans land.

The Egyptians were soon made to pay for the miss as Douglas sent in a magnificent high cross to the far post with the outside of his left foot, which Guerrero met with a brilliant header, the Peruvian directing the ball right into the corner of the net.

After the second half, however, Al-Ahly began to impose themselves on the game and went close to equalising several times, the closest when Mohamed Aboutrika dropped deep and played a brilliant pass on the turn to release Ahmed Fathy down the right channel. Cassio came surging out of his net and it proved enough to put the Egyptian off, whose shot found only the side netting.

In the end, Corinthians managed to hang on to book themselves a place in the final, where they will play the winner of the other semi-final between Chelsea and Mexican side Monterrey.


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