Tue, 28 Mar 2023

Rabat [Morocco], February 9 (ANI): Spanish giants Real Madrid reached the final of the FIFA Club World Cup after defeating Egypt's Al Ahly by 4-1 in the semifinal at the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah in Rabat, Morocco on Wednesday.

It was goals from Vinicius Jr, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo, Sergio Arribas which helped Madrid secure a shot at the title, which they can win for the fifth time if they down Al Hilal in the summit clash at the same place on Saturday. Al Hilal had defeated South American champions Flamengo 3-2 in the first semifinal clash.

Madrid, playing without many of its key players, struggled to break the deadlock and secure a first-half lead as Al Ahly's defence was well-organised.

Just three minutes ahead of the break, Vinicius's close-range strike finally gave Madrid the lead they wanted.

A minute after the break, Valverde tapped into an empty net from a rebound to double the lead.

Ahly got a lifeline after Hussein El Shahat was tripped by Eduardo Carmavinga inside the scoring area and defender Ali Maaloul converted a penalty in the 65th minute. The scoreline read 2-1, though in favour of the Spanish side.

Madrid's Luka Modric missed a penalty three minutes from the end of full-time. But stoppage-time goals from Rodrygo and Arribas helped Madrid clinch a 4-1 win.

Madrid coach Carlos Ancelotti was quoted as saying by ESPN after the match, "We thought at 2-0, game over, but that is not football. We had to do much better, our rhythm dropped, we lost control, we thought the game was won and it is not like that, we have to play well and focus until the end," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said.

"We arrived here with great enthusiasm to play the final.""We have the excitement to play the final and the concern to play it well. We have to rest, although we do not have much time. We have to rest well to try to win," concluded the Madrid boss. (ANI)

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