Corinthians beat Al-Ahly 1-0 in FIFA World Club Cup semifinal
Victory in Toyota puts the South American champions into Sunday's final
Egypt's Al-Ahly reached the competition despite domestic competition being suspended
Corinthians will play Chelsea or Monterrey in Sunday's final
South American champions Corinthians progressed to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup on Wednesday with a 1-0 win over Egyptian side Al-Ahly in Toyota, Japan.
The defeat ended Al-Ahly’s incredible run which had seen the Cairo team win the African Champions League despite domestic competition in Egypt being suspended following the death of more than 70 fans in February’s Port Said stadium tragedy.
The only goal of the game arrived on 29 minutes when Peru’s Jose Paolo Guerrero found the back of the net with a header following Douglas’ sublime outside-of-the-boot cross.
The win means the Sao Paulo team will play European Champions Chelsea of England or Mexico’s CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey in Sunday’s Yokohama final.
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Corinthians, winners of the Copa Libertadores for the first time in their history earlier this year, were backed by thousands of passionate fans who had made the trip from Brazil.
Al-Ahly rarely threatened, with the club now having to make do with a place in Sunday’s third-place playoff. The seven-time African champions finished third in this competition in 2006.
Meanwhile Corinthians hoards of fans will be hoping the club can repeat their 2000 success, when a team inspired by Edilson lifted the trophy on home soil after a penalty shootout win over Brazilian rivals Vasco da Gama – a team that included the striking talents of Edmundo and Romario.
Earlier in the day Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima – beaten by Al-Ahly in the quarterfinals – secured fifth place in the competition with a 3-2 win over Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea.