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FIFA Club World Cup: Late comeback sets up Al-Hilal penalty shootout victory over Wydad AC

Morocco’s Wydad AC appeared to have a semifinal place at the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup in their grasp but Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal found a late equalizer to draw 1-1 before eliminating the African and Moroccan champions in a penalty kick shootout on Saturday. Mohammed Kanno’s penalty kick conversion in second half stoppage time canceled out Ayoub El Amloud’s opener for Wydad, sending the match to extra time before a perfect penalty kick shootout for Hilal clinched advancement. Hilal will play South American champions Flamengo of Brazil in the semifinals on Tuesday.

The match was a scrappy affair with plenty of yellow cards given out by referee Iván Barton of El Salvador. Wydad had a couple of good long range efforts in the opening ten minutes to put Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf under pressure but after an energetic start inspired by their fierce home support, Hilal were able to settle into the match and hold out until halftime.

Hilal nearly opened the scoring early in the second half when a corner kick fell in the Wydad penalty area before Ali Al-Bulaihi’s low shot had Wydad keeper Ahmed Reda Tagnouti beat but striker Didier Lamkel Zé was on the line to clear. Five minutes later Wydad came back and found the opening goal off a corner kick when Jalal Daoudi’s service was flicked to the far post for El Amloud to bounce his header in off the crossbar.

Wydad appeared to be succeeding in their efforts to defend the narrow lead but Hilal applied pressure and caught a break in second half stoppage time when Saud Abdulhamid’s cross attempt came off the arm of Wydad left back Yahia Attiyat Allah. After Wydad midfielder Yahya Jabrane got two yellow cards in quick succession and was sent off, Kanno made no mistake with a casual penalty to beat Tagnouti and level to send the match into extra time.

Extra time was mostly uneventful except for early in the first half when a yellow card was given to Hilal midfielder Gustavo Cuéllar but the Video Assistant Referee intervened to give the yellow card to Kanno instead, his second resulting in a sending off. Penalties were the only way to decide the match after both teams hardly threatened and Hilal advanced by converting all five of their penalty kicks after Wydad’s opening attempt saw Attiyat Allah’s spot kick incredibly hit both posts before bouncing out.

Click the link below for highlights from FIFA’s web site.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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