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Al Ahly v Palmeiras

Mosimane guides Al Ahly to their joint-best finish in the Fifa Club World Cup after Palmeiras win

20:12 GMT+3 11/02/2021
Pitso Mosimane, Al Ahly, January 2021
The South African tactician emulated legendary Portuguese coach Manuel Jose de Jesus, who led the Red Devils to a third-place finish in 2006

Pitso Mosimane guided Al Ahly to a 3-2 win over Brazilian giants Palmeiras SC on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the 2020 Fifa Club World Cup third-place playoff match on Thursday evening.

The two teams were unable to find the back of the net in regulation time at the 2022 Fifa World Cup venue, Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar. 

The Red Devils were looking to end their Club World Cup campaign with a victory after losing 2-0 to European and German champions Bayern Munich in a semi-final match on Monday.  

Mosimane had to make changes to the starting line-up which faced Bayern due to the absence of injured defender Ali Maaloul and suspended duo of Mahmoud Kahraba and Hussein El Shahat. 

Yasser Ibrahim replaced Maaloul in the left-back position, while Akram Tawfik and Walter Bwalya made their return to the Red Devils starting line-up. 

Al Ahly pressed Palmeiras high up the pitch and they were looking to play balls in behind the Big Green's defence, but goalkeeper Weverton was always alert. 

Amr El-Sulaya couldn't get on the end of a through pass as Weverton rushed out to collect the ball and the 33-year-old shot-stopper also gathered a defence-splitting pass which was meant for Taher Mohamed.

The Red Devils should have opened the scoring after some good work by Bwalya, who nicked the ball off Felipe Melo on the edge of the area and the loose ball fell for El-Sulaya.

El-Sulaya then controlled the ball well, before dribbling past his marker, but the 31-year-old playmaker fired wide of the target with only Weverton to beat between the Palmeiras goal-posts.

It was Palmeiras, who finished the first-half the stronger of the two teams with Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy forced to make two fine saves to deny Rony and Luiz Adriano.

Al Ahly struggled to create chances in the opening stages of the second-half and Mosimane introduced an attack-minded duo of Junior Ajayi and Mohamed Sherif on the hour-mark.   

Ajayi thought he had opened the scoring when he fired home on the rebound after an acrobatic kick from El-Sulaya was parried into his path by Weverton.

However, the goal was disallowed for offside and the African champions continued to launch attacks with Mosimane having introduced striker Marwan Mohsen and midfielder Aliou Dieng. 

Both teams pushed for a late winning goal in the latter stages of the game, but it never came and the match ended in a 0-0 draw. A penalty shootout followed.

Al Ahly went on to win 3-2 on penalties against the South American champions with Nigeria international Ajayi scoring the Red Devils' last penalty-kick.

The victory saw Al Ahly equal their best-ever finish in the global competition having also finished third in the 2006 tournament in Japan.