Club World Cup, Al Hilal and Al-Ahly in the semifinals: they will face Flamengo and Real Madrid

The Saudis advance after the penalty shootout in a thrilling match and will face the Rossoneri of Brazil. The Egyptians close against Seattle Sounders: now Ancelotti awaits

Al Hilal and Al-Ahly win, who will face Flamengo and Real Madrid respectively in the next round. In the quarter-finals of the Club World Cup, the Saudis beat the Moroccans of Wydad on penalties, leading until the 89th minute and then condemned by mistakes by Attiyat-Allah. Between red cards and VAR decisions explained on live TV, the team coached by the former Inter player Ramon Diaz triumphed in a match full of emotions. The Cairo team instead obtained a narrow victory (1-0) against the Seattle Sounders, knockout from a shot by Afsha Magdy in the final.


The Africans started well, dominated in the first half and at the beginning of the second half they found the 1-0 with a goal from El Amloud. The lead deservedly lasted until the 89th minute, when Attiyat-Allah (the full-back who had done so well at the World Cup with Morocco) touched the ball with his hand in the area. The referee points to the penalty spot and the Moroccans protest, captain Jabrane gets sent off while Kanno converts the penalty: run-up, jump and goalkeeper displaced. Al Hilal reaches extra time in numerical superiority, but after 3′ Kanno really combines it big. He commits a foul and gets his second yellow card, leaving his team in ten too. For the occasion, the intervention of the Var is needed: Cisneros, in fact, had booked another player, then it was corrected by his assistants. The moment is destined to go down in history, because the reporting of the Var arrives on live TV for the first time. The referee has a microphone and reports the reasons for his decision in real time, also clarifying ideas for the home audience. Opportunities rained down on both sides in extra time, but in the end it went to penalties anyway: Attiyat-Allah made another unfortunate mistake (on-the-go) and Al Hilal won 6-4 with the last decisive shot converted by 19-year-old Al Juwayr.


In the first half, the Cairo team defended well, allowing a few shots on goal but managing to neutralize the opponents’ attacks. On both sides, however, there was a lack of clarity in the last few metres: to make up for it, in the second half, Al Ahly made three substitutions in one fell swoop. The move turns out to be spot on because Seattle feels the pinch and, in the last half hour, suffers from the restarts led by the new entry Afsha Magdy. The Egyptian international took the team on his shoulders and, in the 88th minute, found the winning twist: thanks to a deflection by an opposing defender, his long-range shot went into the net and gave Al-Ahly through to the next round.