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Thursday, September 28, 2023

FIFA Club World Cup: Al Ahly in control against Auckland City after slow start

Egyptian club Al Ahly advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup following their 3-0 victory over Oceania representative Auckland City on Wednesday in Tangier, Morocco. Hussein El Shahat opened the scoring for the Red Devils just before halftime before second half strikes from Mohamed Sherif and Percy Tau wrapped up a comfortable victory. Ahly will face American club Seattle Sounders on Saturday for an opportunity to advance to the semifinals.

It was a slow start for the heavy favorites against Auckland, who managed to keep the Egyptian giants at bay for long stretches in the first half. It took until the 24th minute for Ahly to attempt a shot towards the Auckland goal and Sherif left plenty to be desired after volleying wide in the 39th minute from a Mohamed Hany cross. However the current Egyptian Premier League leaders broke the deadlock in the final minute of first half stoppage time when El Shahat unleashed a hard shot from twenty yards out that was too much for Auckland goalkeeper Conor Tracey to handle.

The goal relaxed Ahly and their dominance only increased in the second half against an Auckland side who had not played a competitive match in months. Ahly pounced on a turnover in midfield by the New Zealander club and Hamdi Fathi set up Sherif for an easy 56th minute finish with an excellent pass that put the striker beyond the defense.

Substitute Percy Tau finished off the scoring against Ahly’s tired opponents in the 86th minute. Tau drove towards the goal and passed to fellow substitute Kahraba at the edge of the penalty area, whose backheel sent the South African in on goal for a clever lifted finish over Tracey to complete a dominant second half.

Highlights of the opening match at the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup are below.