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FIFA Club World Cup
December 12, 2012
• Toyota Stadium, Toyota
Referee: M. Rodríguez
• Attendance: 31417
P. Guerrero 30'
That's it from me, Mohammed Ali. Stay here on Goal.com for the match report and player ratings from the FIFA Club World Cup. Don't forget, Chelsea's semi-final against Monterrey kicks off at 11:30 CET tomorrow.
For Al Ahly, it was a night of wasted chances. A purely defensive first half blossomed into an energetic, and attacking second, where they just couldn't test Cassio. They will play in the third-fourth place play-off against the loser of tomorrow's semi-final.
A huge roar goes up as the referee blows for full-time in Toyota. Corinthians have the chance to try for a second FIFA Club World Cup trophy in Sunday's final. Tite's men stumbled over the finishing line after Al Ahly dominated in the second half. They will face Chelsea or Monterrey.
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME: AL AHLY 0-1 CORINTHIANS - CORINTHIANS QUALIFY FOR THE FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP FINAL!!
90' + 5'
One last chance here for Al Ahly. Free-kick conceded by AL Ahly, it's a long cross, and held by Cassio. That's it.
90' + 4'
Rabio threads a fantastic pass towards Aboutrika on the right, who takes advantage of a trip. The cross comes in, and safely headed towards Cassio. Surely, that's it.
90' + 3'
It's really now or never for the African champions, who also suffered defeat to Brazilian opposition, the last time they were in the semi-final. They just cannot get the ball into the box.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Al Ahly back on the ball. Soliman beats Alessandro for pace, and it takes a slim deflection all the way back to Cassio. Corinthians just holding their own at the moment, and they have one foot in the FIFA Club World Cup final.
90' + 1'
Danilo a little too sloppy there, as he produces a fine through ball down the left to get Santos on the ball. Substitution being readied for Corinthians, and it's Guerrero coming off for Andrade.
FIVE ADDED MINUTES at the end of the second half. Corinthains just need to hold out here.
Entering the final minute of play in Toyota, but there is sure to be an extra couple of minutes in injury time given Ekramy's injury delay. Rabia crosses in from the right, and it's an easy catch for Cassio.
Al Ahly are two minutes from exiting the competition, can they find the equaliser to force extra time? They've done superbly well in changing their approach after a turgid first half.
Ralf picks out a fine pass towards Romarinho in space down the right side. A cross in is cleared by Nagieb, who cannot take any chances with Guerrero lurking behind.
RABIA! Again, he just can't keep it down. It's a brilliant effort once more from the number three, who gets the space to tee up an effort, and it's only gone inches over the bar.
HAMDI! A fantastic sequence of Ahly passes finds the striker on the right side of the box. His first-time cross is easily picked out by the goalkeeper Cassio. Nevertheless, Al Ahly ar eo the ball again.
Corinthians are being pegged back in their own half, as Ahly desperately search for the equaliser. Alessandro clears, though Qinawi's cross is proving too difficult for the defence, who hurriedly deal with the threat. It's all Al Ahly at the moment.
SOLIMAN! A fantastic effort from the midfield, who gets past his marker Alessandro, before firing from distance. It only just clears Cassio's goal. Had a lot of space to test the goalkeeper there.
Al Ahly in the ascendancy as the game wears on. Soliman tees up Qinawi on the left, whose cross in is blocked well by Alessandro. Corinthians just cannot get the ball now.
Al Ahly also make their final change. Emad Moteab comes on for the last nine minutes or so in Toyota.
Second Corinthians substitution now. Jorge Henrique comes on for Douglas, whose major contribution was the fantastic cross for Guerrero's goal.
The Timao fans behind the goal make their disapproval heard as Romarinho is penalised, with the free-kick going Al Ahly's way. Gedo and Hamdi combine well, before Aboutrika is bundled over by Chicao.
12 minutes left for Al-Ahly to get the equaliser, which they do deserve after a reinvigorated second half from the champions of Africa. Corinthians' dominance in the first 45 has been ruthlessly wiped out, since the introduction of Aboutrika.
Paulinho is clear on the far side, as Romarinho fantastically picks out the midfielder who surges clear. Runs into a bit of a dead end, as the returning Fathi does fantastically well to deny the opposition, and win a free-kick for his efforts.
Substitution: Corinthians - Romarinho comes on for the ineffectual Emerson for the last quarter of an hour.
Really open game in Toyota as the Egyptians break once more, though Fathi's progress sees him fouled. Free-kick, and Corinthians are readying a substitution here.
PAULINHO! At the other end, Corinthians break, as Guerrero sets up the midfielder, whose timed shot is denied by some brilliant defending by Qianawi. Could've been game over this.
ABOUTRIKA! Another opportunity goes begging, as the Al Ahly side step up their efforts. Fatnastic attempt from the 34-year-old, whose effort is deflected behind for a corner.
HAMDI! A poor touch, a really poor touch from the forward. With the game wearing on, Al Ahly just can't afford to waste these chances. Another fantastic delivery from the right, as the striker ghosts in behind Chicao, but he flops with the control as Cassio gains possession.
Douglas takes it, and his inswinging delivery is headed away by the defence, as he is adjudged to be in an offside position when the ball rebounds back to his feet. Corinthians are readying a substitution though.
Here in Toyota, Corinthians still lead, as Guerrero is crowded out near the corner flag as he struggles to find space. He wins a corner though, the seventh for his side.
Qinawi with another threatening cross from the left, which bounces off Paulinho, somewhat unconvincingly. Tite looks frustrated on the touchline, as his side's superiority has all been wiped out in this second half.
Finally, the African champions are enjoying possession giving the Brazilian side a few things to think about in defence. They are going forward a lot more. Can they equalise, as they win a corner off of Ralf.
FATHI! The best chance for Al-Ahly has gone begging. Fantastic creativity from Aboutrika, who gets the bass behind Danilo in the path of Fathi. Cassio races off his pitch, but the winger strikes the side-netting. Should've been 1-1.
Substitution: Goalkeeper Abou El Seoud comes on for the injured Ekramy, who also takes his time in getting off the pitch.
And at the other end, Ekramy's collapsed onto the ground still clutching his hamstring. He's admitted defeat, as he calls for a substitution. A Barrage of boos coming down from the Corinthians fans, who feel as if the goalkeeper is wasting time.
RABIA! Fine move, fine shot from the midfielder. Arguably their best spell in this match for sure. Aboutrika picks out the number three, who powers his way into a central position and fires narrowly wide of Cassio's goal.
Aboutrika finds Soliman with a deft pass on the edge of the area. The midfielder opts for a cross towards the box, but it's well dealt with by Douglas. Ashour attempts to reignite the move.
Mateja comments: Corinthians will meet Chelsea in the final as expected...
Well, well, well. Ekramy waves to the touchline that he DOES want to stay on. Four minutes of treatment seemed to have magically done the trick as substitute Abou ElSaoud remains on the bench, despite getting ready. Interesting to see how Ekramy can manage this.
Ekramy can hardly walk, as he limps around in pain. The medical team get him bandaged up, and there is some confusion as to whether he can continue. He certainly does want to, after seeing the substitute warm up.
Ekramy's going to have to come off here. A quick look at the replay shows that he has pulled his hamstring from a goal-kick. He's in some pain, as Al Ahly contemplate whether to take him off. Either that, or they're using up a lot of time to get the substitute ready.
Two players down for Al-Ahly - Qinawi and goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy. Qinawi appears to be alright now,but the goalkeeper is in some pain inside the box. He's in quite a lot of pain, with the substitute goalkeeper warming up.
Abdalla El Said
Mohammed Abu Trika
Offside for Corinthians, as Emerson Sheikh latched onto a ball in acres of space inside the box. The substitution can be made now, as Aboutrika comes on for the rather disappointing Abdalla Said.
Mohamed Aboutrika is coming on. as he prepares on the touchline. A fantastic player, who was named as Africa's best player back in 2008. Also scored the winner in the quarter-final, and treated as a legend, not just in Egypt, but in Africa too.
Disappointing from Al Ahly. Said and Gedo combine in what looks like a really promising venture up front. The shot from the latter is scuffed, as Cassio claims the ball. Could've - or rather should've, worked the goalkeeper.
Ouch. Alessandro with a crushing challenge on Gedo who somewhat theatrically crashes to the ground. No free-kick, as the referee restarts play from the drop-ball.
Soliman appeared to have collided with the goalkeeper Cassio in what looked like an innocuous challenge. Somehow, he requires medical attention, but is fit enough to continue afterwards.
Chance of note for the Egyptians as Qenawi makes progress down the right flank. Crossed in for Soliman, who heads over the bar, but it's offside anyway.
Better from Emerson, who uses his strength to reclaim the ball, and this time pick out Ralf on the left. In the end, Fabio Santos' cross is deflected behind for a corner.
EMERSON! Wide! Great run in from the right wing, as he struggles to get past the defender. Instead, he opts for goal, and it's wide of Ekramy's goal. Should've crossed.
A more positive start from the Egyptians as Fathi threads a pass to Soliman. The midfielder attempts to loft the pass towards Gedo at the far post, but it's slightly overhit.
Underway in the second half. It's Al Ahly 0-1 Corinthians. The Egyptians get us started, attacking from right to left.
The sides are out for the second half, which should start in a few moments. Freezing conditions in Japan at the moment.
Halftime in Toyota, as Corinthians lead in the semi-final thanks to Paolo Guerrero's header just before the half-hour. They've been the better side by a clear mile, as Al Ahly have struggled offensively, and not at the same pace as their opponents. Join me again in 15 minutes for the second half.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME: Al Ahly SC 0-1 Corinthians (Guerrero 29')
One minute of added time at the end of the first half in Toyota.
Al Ahly aiming to finish the first half with a flourish as Soliman, Fathi and Qinawi attempting to combine with some intricate passing. They are dispossessed by Fabio Santos, who tees himself up to loud cheers, before booting the ball away.
TIte's men look rather comfortable at the back, and happy to sit on their lead for the time being. Hossam El Badry faces a task at half-time, as he seeks to reinvigorate his players after a largely forgettable first half from them.
Referee has had a shocking first half in terms of fouls awarded. Paulinho goes down once more in midfield, and again Mexican official Marco Rodriguez waves play on.
Cassio is finally worked for the first time in this match, as he is forced to punch away from a threatening Al Ahly corner. He's hardly touched the ball in this game.
Al Ahly enjoying a rare source of attacking freedom as the first half wears on. The likes of Hamdi and Geddo have been largely isolated up front in the face of a much more professional Corinthians side.
Paulinho dispossessed, but Rabia down with what appears to be a muscle problem. He'll continue as well, the number three, in for the injured captain Hossam Ghaly.
Corner for Tite's men who cannot quite work Ekramy from the set-piece once more. It's Al Ahly who are in possession now, as they seek to carve out an opportunity at the other side.
Paulinho fouled now, as the referee awards Corinthians a free-kick. They've looked largely confident on the ball, and super assured in possession.
Free-kick to Al Ahly, in a dangerous position as El Sayed Hamdi is felled by Alessandro on the far side. Free-kick taken by Fathi, and it's a poor one, easily cleared by the South American champions.
The noise has been elevated at the Toyota Stadium with the upto 15,000 Brazilian fans making their voice heard. Al Ahly must change course and attack now, if they are to make the world final.
Goal P. Guerrero
GOAAL!! CORINTHIANS TAKE THE LEAD! A fabulous delivery from Douglas as he pings a lofted cross with the outside of his left boot. Al-Ahly can't deal with it, and Guerrero heads it in, with Ekramy well beaten. Fantastic.
It had been coming, an outrageous cross from Douglas to instigate the opener here in Toyota. As expected, Corinthians lead 1-0 in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final.
Referee lecturing Fathi and Emerson ahead of the corner delivery. Nevertheless, it's taken by Douglas, and headed away......
Brilliant touch from Danilo in towards Fabio Santos, the two combine well before captain Wael Gomaa clears the ball behind for a corner. Can the Timao make this count?
Hossam El-Badry's men are distinctly second best at the moment, as they struggle to retain the ball in the face of Corinthians' superb passing range. They've got it now, as Qinawi controls a pass down the wing.
Looking at the early stats, it's clear to see Corinthians' early domination of the ball as they lead the possession count on 64% ahead of Al Ahly's 36%. Both sides have not had a shot on target thus far.
Midway through the first half here in Toyota, as Paulinho again threatens Gomaa with a mazy run. Into Danilo, who sends in a lofted ball across the penalty box, as Al Ahly clear through Nagieb.
Gedo is all alone up front as he contemplates whether to take on four Brazilian defenders at once. He checks back, to tee up Soliman, who in turn plays a pass into Fathi on the right, who despite much determination, cannot keep the ball in play.
Fantastic pass from Ralf into Paulinho who makes a great rown down the middle. Ekramy races off his line to meet the ball, and is sucessful as he clears the ball away.
Corner to Corinthians, headed away by Hossam Ashour for another set-piece. At the second attempt, it's a great punch by Ekramy to deny the Brazilian side, who have been dominating so far.
Said attempts to pick out Ashour on the left, but it'ss a brilliant interception from Alessandro, who denies the player moving on the overlap. A rare Ahly attack there.
Ralf plays a fantastic pass towards Fabio Santos, who is under pressure from Soliman and is forced to play back all the way towards goalkeeper Cassio. They've enjoyed the lions share of possession in the opening proceedings.
Danilo latches onto a great pass from Paulinho, but a promising move breaks down when Douglas attempts a ludicrous piece of skill, which does not meet its intended target. Al Ahly finding it difficult to get out of their half at the minute.
Goal.com's Fernando Ahuvia comments: Without any star, Corinthians will bet in the strength, the regularity and teamwork of all the players. The experience in the defense, the two best defensive midfielder, the dangerous movement of Paulinho in the attack, the pressure of the team in the offensive area and the strong attack make Timao the favorite for the clash.
Ogunyemi Olawale comments: I am also in support of Al Ahly winning this match. It will be fun when Chelsea will be meeting Al Ahly in the finals.
Looking at the replay there, Fathi should be booked. Rash challenge on the striker, who is momentarily stretched off. It looks like he will continue after receiving attention.
Well, Emerson is on the ground here, clutching his calf. The referee waves play on after the challenge from Fathi - who ought to be on a boooking here - but it's only when Ekramy puts the ball sportingly out of play, that medical attention is given to the Qatari international.
RABIA! Well, what a chance there. Great run from the number three, as Corinthians just remained static at the back. Good delivery from Soliman, whose free-kick totally evades the back four, and it's the defender who heads wide. He had so much time there.
Oh, not a bad effort from Emerson. From the throw-in, Al-Ahly just did not deal with the loose ball in the area, as the weak effort just narrowly flies past Ekramy's goal.
Nice movement by Alessandro, as the captain races down the right wing. Qinawi at the ready to check his progress, and clear the ball out for a throw-in. Fantastic noise emanating from the Corinthians fans.
Fathi needs to calm down here, as he commits a poor challenge on Guerrero. The Peruvian is writhing around in pain, as referee Marco Rodriguez instead, just lectures the player. No booking.
Fathi had made good progress on the right wing, before the midfielder is fouled by Fabio Santos. The free-kick is poor, and Corinthians recover the ball well.
Douglas races forward as he attempts to ping the pass towards Emerson up front. The Egyptians hold strong, as their compact defence thwarts the Brazilian side. However, it's Al-Ahly on the break here...
Poor refereeing decision there from the Mexican referee. Chicao lunges in on El Sayed Hamdi on the far side. There was a clear touch, but referee waves play on, as the ball goes out for a goal-kick. Safe to say, Hamdi's not impressed.
Alessandro makes progress down the right wing, and he's crowded out by Gomaa and Nagieb on the far side. Al Ahly at the moment, haven't exactly done well in terms of ball possession.
Qinawi's given the ball away, but the Egyptians have recovered it. Corinthians currently comfortable in possession, as Paulinho and Douglas combine passes with ease.
Decent start by the Timao who look to dictate the play in these early stages. Fantastic Brazilian support here in Toyota, upto 15,000 fans from South America inside the stadium.
UNDERWAY IN THE FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP SEMI-FINAL! It's Corinthians who get us started in Toyota, attacking from right to left.
The teams emerge to the FIFA anthem, and it's packed out at the Toyota stadium. Al-Ahly playing in their ninth Club World Cup encounter - a record.
Kick-off in seven minutes in Toyota at 1130 CET, or 1930 local time. The atmosphere is building.
Today's referee is Marco Rodriguez from Mexico. Elsewhere, the fifth place match between Sanfrecce and Ulsan Hyundai finished 3-2 to the Japanese side, as they end their Club World Cup on a high.
TEAM NEWS: El Badry calls up Remy Rabia to replace the injured Hossam Ghaly against Corinthians, whilst Sunday's hero Mohamed Aboutrika will again start from the bench. Otherwise, it's unchanged elsewhere with Al Sayed and Mohamed Nagy Gedo up front. For Corinthians, it's their possible strongest line-up, with Emerson Sheik - who scored the continental winning double against Boca, partnering former Bayern and Hamburg forward Jose Paolo Guerrero.
CORINTHIANS: Cassio; Alessandro, Chicao, Paul André, Fabio Santos; Ralf, Paulinho; Danilo, Douglas; Emerson, Guerrero
AL AHLY: Ekramy; Fathi, Gomaa, Qinawi, Naguib; Rabia, Ashour, Said, Soliman; Al Sayed, Gedo
CONFIRMED TEAM LINE-UPS:
Meanwhile, Tite insists his side have the quality to see off the African champions: "I don’t think that past results determine who the favourites are. What decides that is the strength of each team, over the 90 minutes of their semi-final. But a team’s experience does have an impact, and so does the quality of the players. We’re very aware of that fact. We know what our strengths are, but I don’t believe we’re the favourites. I believe in the players’ ability to prepare well for this game."
El-Badry says that his side are playing for their people ahead of today's game: "I’ve not had much time yet to really study Corinthians, but my team put in a really good performance against Sanfrecce and we’ve now got to turn our focus to the Brazilian side. We’re in a special situation and I’m sure every Egyptian is pleased with our opening result. The Egyptian people have made many sacrifices."
Like Santos last year, the Brazilians have been eyeing up a heavyweight clash against European opposition, as they seek to become the first side other than Barcelona to win a multiple world crown. However, they face an Al-Ahly side short on match fitness given the cancellation of league matches, though high on confidence and ability.
Corinthians make their bow in the Club World Cup a full 12 years after winning the inaugural edition on home soil in 2000. They, like Chelsea, received a bye in the quarter-finals, and make their debut this year here in Toyota. Tite's men qualified by beating Boca Juniors in the final of the Copa Libertadores in July, their first continental crown, following their Serie A victory the year before.
El Badry is nevertheless forced to make a change after influential captain Hossam Ghaly suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the quarter-final against Sanfrecce. However, victory here would see them follow in the footsteps of TP Mazembe in 2010 and become only the second African participant to qualify for the final.
Al-Ahly qualified for the last four by virtue of a 2-1 victory over Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Mohamed Aboutrika scored the winner in freezing conditions, as Hossam El Badry's men qualified for the last four for the first time since their shock third place triumph in this competition back in 2006. They eventually lost to Brazilian opposition in the form of Internacional, who would later becoming world champions.
We progress onto the business end of the Club World Cup as African champions Al-Ahly take on Copa Libertadores winners Corinthians for a shot at the world title on Sunday, where either side are eyeing up a potential heavyweight clash against Champions League holders Chelsea, should they beat Monterrey of Mexico in the other semi-final tomorrow.
First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm Mohammed Ali, and I'll be guiding you through today's events for the next two hours. Don't forget send your comments to the Goal.com matchcentre chatbox to your right. Predictions, opinions, whatever, I'll be waiting for them.
Good morning! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the FIFA Club World Cup. We move onto the final four as Africa takes on South America, with Al-Ahly seeking to book their first final in this competition against Corinthians of Brazil at the Toyota Stadium in Japan. Confirmed team-news shortly.
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