Club World Cup: Al-Ain Thrash Esperance to Land Semi-Final with Argentina's River Plate

Published December 16th, 2018 - 02:38 GMT
Al Ain rout Esperance de Tunis to book semis berth with River Plate
Al Ain rout Esperance de Tunis to book semis berth with River Plate

Al-Ain of the United Arab Emirates will face South American champions River Plate of Argentina in the semi-final of the FIFA Club World Cup after a 3-0 drubbing of Esperance de Tunis on Saturday.

Mohammad Ahmad headed a set piece two minutes into the first half with Egyptian international Hussein El Shahat firing home some 15 minutes later and UAE defender Bandar Al-Ahbabi latching onto a cross from Brazilian Caio with half an hour left in the match.

Buoyed by their home fans at Abu Dhabi's Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, the Gulf champions controlled possession during most of the proceedings, playing a clever passing game as the visitors looked lacklustre for lengthy spells of the encounter.

In the corresponding fixture, a five-goal thriller saw Kashima Antlers of Japan overcome Mexico's Guadalajara, 3-2, leaving the Asian champions with arguably the tougher of the two semi-finals when they face defending champions, Real Madrid.


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