Al-Ahly Sends Saudi Favorite Al-Ittihad Out of Club World Cup 3-1
Saudi football enthusiasts were left disappointed after the star-studded Al-Ittihad lost by an overwhelming 3-1 to Egyptian Al-Ahly SC. Karim Benzema is under the spotlight for missing a penalty in the first half of the match. He tried to make it up with a last minute goal, but it was already two late as Al-Ahly had three goals in its kitty.
The Egyptian side displayed a strong front against the Saudi champions that had players like N’Golo Kante and Fabinho in the lineup. Al-Ittihad is fourth in the Saudi League, 19 points behind Al-Hilal. Al-Ittihad failed to defeat Al-Ahly despite having the benefit of their home ground and a red card for Ahly.
Al-Ittihad Had a Tough Match
The first half was balanced, as Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahly played defensive. The Egyptian side peaked up powerful driven by the enthusiasm of their fans, at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, who passionately cheered them on.
Both teams struggled to create chances. The breakthrough came in the 19th minute when Al-Ahly was awarded a penalty when Al-Ittihad’s Hassan Kadesh took a long pass while under pressure. Al Maaloul then sent the ball straight down the middle past the Abdullah Al-Mayouf.
Seven minutes before the break, Benzema missed a goal and it went straight to El-Shenawy. Al-Ittihad tried very hard for an equalizer, but they were caught off guard. Zakaria Al-Hawsawi put the ball behind for a corner, but a review put it off and Al-Ittihad was awarded a penalty for a handball by Mohammed Abdelmonem. The penalty by Benzema went straight into the arms of a diving El-Shenawy, Al-Ahly’s goalkeeper.
Al-Ahly Too Much for Al-Ittihad
The Saudi side came back with full force in the second half with two new full-backs but it wasn’t enough as Al-Ahly was strong. The Egyptian side took advantage of the huge gaps in the Al-Ittihad defense. Kharaba pulled the ball from the byline for Emam Ashour for a score.
Then Benzema again came in, but it was a last minute goal, and too light as Al-Ahly had secured its spot for the semi-final.