Al-Ahly of Egypt became the first African side since 2013 to win their opening Club World Cup match when they edged Al-Duhail from host nation Qatar 1-0 Thursday in the quarter-finals.
The reward for the Cairo Red Devils is a semi-final on Monday against tournament favorites and former title-holders Bayern Munich.
Wearing grey and black because of a color clash with the red strip of Duhail, Ahly advanced thanks to a 30th-minute goal from midfielder Hussein El-Shahat.
Success came as a huge relief for an Egyptian outfit coached by South African Pitso Mosimane as they achieved only one top-three finish in five previous Club World Cup appearances.
It was also a joyful occasion for Mosimane, who lost both matches when he took previous club, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa, to the 2016 edition.
Backed by the majority of the crowd in the Education City Stadium, Ahly led 1-0 at half-time and had a second goal ruled offside.
The only goal came when Duhail cheaply surrendered possession close to their box and one pass set up El-Shahat to fire a low shot into the corner of the net.
Walter Bwalya netted eight minutes later for the nine-time African champions after racing clear and the goal was initially awarded before VAR revealed the Congolese was fractionally offside.
Starved of possession in the first half, Duhail were more assertive at the start of the second half and forced two corners in quick succession.
Ahly rode the storm and held on to the slender lead despite having far less of the ball than during the opening 45 minutes.
In the first quarter-final earlier Thursday, Tigres of Mexico came from behind to edge Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea 2-1 and book a Sunday meeting with Palmeiras of Brazil for a place in the final.
Copyright: Arab News © 2021 All rights reserved.