Real Madrid are through to a fifth Club World Cup final following a 4-1 win over Al Ahly in the semi-final of the 2022 semi final this Wednesday.
Goals from Vinicius Jnr, Federico Valverde plus Rodrygo and substitute Sergio Arribas reduced Ali Maaloul goal for Al Ahly to a souvenir only on a dramatic night at the Prince Mouley Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
Real only entered the competition in the semi-final against Al Ahly. Hoping to be at their best against the Ahly side that had won their opening two games against Auckland City and Seattle Sounders.
The opening moments of the game were dominated by midfield battles as both sides pushed to dominate that area of the pitch.
Toni Kroos first called El-Shanawy to action with a short on target from a dead ball in the 15th minute. The keeper dealt with it perfectly.
Rodrygo was close yet far from scoring 15 minutes later as he broke into the Al Ahly defence and shot but the ball hit the post.
Vinicius Jnr drew first blood in the 42nd minute, pouncing on a moment of lack of concentration at the from the Ahly defence. Ahly finally conceded in 2023.
It was 1-0 for the four-time Club World Cup winners at the break.
A minute after resumption, Valverde picked the pieces of a save from El-Shanawy to make it 2-0 for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
Comeback hopes were ignited when Ali Maaloul converted a penalty earned from Eduardo Camavinga’s foul on El-Shetat.
Real kept their shape and defended the 2-1 lead for the next 26 minutes of regulation time. However, Luca Modric could have extended the lead in the final moments but El-Shanawy saved his VAR accorded penalty minutes before the end of regulation time.
Rodrygo and Sergio Arribas each scored in added time to crown the great night for the Merengues.
The win books an appointment for a final against Al Hilal this Saturday at the Mouley Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
Al Ahly will face Brazilian side Flamengo in the third-place playoffs game.
Over 39 000 Moroccan football fans who were at the stadium on the night that again proved the country’s undiluted love for the game at a time Moroccans want to host the AFCON and the FIFA World Cup.
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