Egypt’s Al-Ahly lost its game against Spain’s Real Madrid in the semi-final of the Club World Cup on 8 February. The Spanish giants emerged victorious with four goals to one.
The first half of the match saw Real Madrid dominating in terms of possession and Al-Ahly holding their own in defence – that is until a defensive error resulted in Real Madrid’s first goal in the final minutes.
The club managed to score their second goal very early on in the second half, a challenge that raised Al-Ahly’s momentum in hopes of retaliation. This momentum ultimately earned them a penalty, which Tunisian star Ali Maaloul put away successfully. However, Al-Ahly’s momentum dropped after this goal, and the club went down to 10 men when a player was injured after they had done all their substitutions.
Despite Al-Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed Elshennawy saving a penalty awarded to Real Madrid, the Spanish club managed to clinch their win completely in stoppage time, with a goal in the 92nd minute and another in the 97th.
The Club World Cup, a men’s football tournament that takes place annually, features the winners of all six football confederations: Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, and the Confederation of North Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), as well as a team from the host country.
This year the cup is being hosted by Morocco. With African champions Al-Wydad Casa Blanca already being reserved a spot in the tournament due to their status as host country champions, another spot opened for African runners-up, Al-Ahly.
Up until their match against Real Madrid, Al-Ahly had an unerring run in the tournament, beating Oceania champions, New Zealand’s Auckland City, by three goals to none, before moving on to their 1-0 victory against the US club, the Seattle Sounders.
On Saturday, 11 February, Real Madrid will be facing Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal, who on 7 February defeated the South American champions Flamengo with three goals to two. Al-Ahly and Flamengo will battle it out for the bronze medal on the same day.