The Asian giants Al-Hilal put up an impressive performance to beat the South American champions Flamengo in the first semi-final of the FIFA Club World Cup 2023, on Tuesday. They bested Flamengo by 3-2 goals in a toe-to-toe battle to reach the Club World Cup Final.
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On Tuesday’s first semi-final clash at Morocco’s Ibn Batouta Stadium, Tangier, Al-Hilal and Flamengo locked horns.
The Brazilian giants Flamengo won the 2022 Copa Libertadores. They qualified for this tournament as the representatives of the South American (CONMEBOL) region. As the CONMEBOL champions, they got a bye into the semi-finals. However, their Club World Cup journey ended in their opening game. Flamengo appeared in the FIFA Club World Cup once before, in 2019.
Elsewhere the Saudi side Al-Hilal is one step away from lifting their maiden FIFA Club World Cup trophy. They will play the final on Saturday, February 11, at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat, against the winner of the second semi-final, Real Madrid vs Al Ahly.
As the Asian (AFC) representatives, Al-Hilal played their opener in the second round against Wydad Casablanca, the CAF Champions. A last-minute penalty helped Al-Hilal to level the match 1-1 when Kanno successfully converted the spot kick. The Moroccan side and the home fans became heartbroken by losing the game by 3-5 in a penalty shootout. With that victory, Al-Hilal booked a semi-final clash against Flamengo.
Al-Hilal previously played in the competition twice, in 2019 and 2021.
Flamengo vs Al-Hilal Result
Flamengo 2-3 Al-Hilal
|Pedro 20′||Salem Al-Dawsari 4′|
|Pedro 90+1′||Salem Al-Dawsari 45+9′|
The Saudi club Al-Hilal stunned Flamengo by 3-2 goals in a toe-to-toe battle to reach the FIFA Club World Cup Final.
The Asian side got an early penalty when Matheuzinho committed a foul inside the penalty area. Salem Al-Dawsari made no mistake to give Al-Hilal an early lead from the spot, in the 4th minute.
In the 20th minute, Matheuzinho made amends and provided an assist for Pedro’s equalizer, making it 1-1.
At the end of the first half, Flamengo defender Gerson was shown his second yellow and the red one for committing a foul inside the penalty area. Salem Al-Dawsari put his side ahead again.
Vietto’s goal in the 70th minute gave Al-Hilal a two-goal cushion against a 10-man Flamengo side.
However, the Brazilian giants never gave up and made things interesting right at the death. Brazilian forward Pedro scored his second goal of the night, making it 3-2 in the 90+1st minute.
Despite a late scare, Al-Hilal sealed the game by 2-3 to reach the FIFA Club World Cup 2023 final.
Al-Hilal will await Real Madrid or Al Ahly for the final on 11 February 2023, at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat.
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