Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly advanced to the Fifa Club World Cup semi-finals after a 1-0 victory over hosts Al-Duhail on Thursday evening.
The Red Eagles made their first appearance in the competition following a seven-year absence, while Al-Duhail debuted after having a bye to this stage following Auckland City’s.
The match got off to a slow start but both teams managed to carve out a chance each with Bwalya almost finding the net for Ahly, while Michael Olunga nearly put his side ahead midway into the first half.
Ahly eventually broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when El Shahat unleashed a low strike from outside the box that found the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
With seven minutes left to the break, Bwalya thought he had made it 2-0 in favour of Ahly but his goal was disallowed by the video assistant referee (VAR) for offside.
Al-Duhail nearly levelled matters on the stroke of half time through Olunga, but his header was saved by the experienced Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy as the Egyptian giants took a one-goal lead into the break.
El Shenawy kept his side’s lead intact after making numerous saves to deny the home side.
Dudu nearly found an equaliser in the last 20 minutes when he unleashed a thunderous strike from outside the box, but El Shenawy was on hand to make the save.
Al Duhail continued to press forward going in search of an equaliser in the closing stages, but Ahly held on to their lead until the final whistle to book their place in the semi-finals to take on Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
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