Fifa Club World Cup UAE: Al Ahly go past Monterrey; Al Jazira take on Al Hilal

 

Al Ahly's Taher Mohamed (left) is challenged by Monterrey's Celso Ortiz on Saturday. — AP
Al Ahly's Taher Mohamed (left) is challenged by Monterrey's Celso Ortiz on Saturday. — AP

Mohamed Hany scored on 43 minutes to set up Al Ahly's last four match-up against Brazilian club Palmeiras on Tuesday night

by

Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sun 6 Feb 2022, 12:04 AM

Egyptian side Al Ahly defeated Mexico’s Monterrey by a solitary goal at the Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi to progress to the semifinals of the Fifa Club World Cup on Saturday night.

Mohamed Hany scored on 43 minutes to set up a last four match-up against Brazilian club Palmeiras on Tuesday night.


Meanwhile, UAE champions Al Jazira are well-prepared for their tough outing against Asian giants Al Hilal.

Ahead of the second-round match on Sunday, Al Jazira’s head coach Marcel Keizer exuded confidence in the abilities of his boys to see off the challenge from the AFC Champions League winners.


“Of course, they are a big team in the Middle East and Asia. We know it is going to be a difficult game. But I have a lot of confidence in my team. It will be a good and attractive game. We would play as we always do, try to attack, create chances and hopefully score a couple of goals. But we know it will be difficult,” Keizer told reporters.

In the first match, Al Jazira comfortably beat AS Pirae 4-1, allowing much-needed rest to players returning from their national duties in Iran, which helped in preparations.

“Yes, we could prepare well for this game. But still, it is going to be a tough one.”

Asked about the pressure of facing the Saudi Arabian side, the Dutchman said: “There is always pressure on us but I have confidence in my players.”

Milos Kosanovic, the Serbian defender at ‘the Pride of Abu Dhabi,’ said the players are focused on their job. “It is a big game. We know everything about them. We have prepared well. We will give our maximum. It is going to be a good game.”

Kosanovic said it will be interesting to see how Al Hilal’s new recruits like former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo, national team goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais and defender Abdulrahman Al-Obaid — all of them who signed last week, play.

“We have to see how they adapt. It is going to be a difficult game for us. But we are a good team and can play against them.”

Meanwhile, Al Hilal head coach Leonardo Jardim said his players were determined to win. “This will be an important match. We need to win this to qualify (to the next round). We will show everyone why we are the Asian champions,” Jardim said.

Jardim expects an attacking play from UAE Pro League title holders Al Jazira and has made preparations.

“They are technically well-established and we need to stop them, defend. We can tackle them and their technique.”

Al Hilal winger Salem Al-Dawsari said there is lots of optimism in the dressing room.

“I expect us to perform better than our earlier participation.”

The all-Arab clash kicks off at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium (8.30pm) in Abu Dhabi, with Uefa champions Chelsea awaiting the winners in the semis on Wednesday.


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