TANGIERS: Egyptian giants Al Ahly brushed past New Zealand’s Auckland City 3-0 on Wednesday in the opening round of the Club World Cup in Morocco. Hussein El Shahat hammered in a long-range drive in first-half stoppage time for Al Ahly, who added to their lead with goals from Mohamed Sherif and Percy Tau. El Shahat’s strike put him in elite company as the fourth player to score at three different editions of the Club World Cup – joining Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Auckland, the Oceania champions appearing at the tournament for a record 10th time, had defender Adam Mitchell sent off in the closing moments. Al Ahly, runners-up to tournament hosts Wydad Casablanca in last year’s CAF Champions League, will play the Seattle Sounders on Saturday with the winners advancing to meet Real Madrid.
Hussein El Shahat, Mohamed Sherif and Percy Tau all scored as Egyptian side Al Ahly cruised to a 3-0 victory at the Club World Cup in Morocco on Wednesday to set up a second round tie against Seattle Sounders. Ahly, who have won the bronze medal in the previous two editions, dominated the contest at the Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier and now look forward to a far more testing outing against Major League Soccer opposition at the same venue on Saturday.
The Cairo club had to wait until first half injury-time for their opener against the Oceania champions, which came when El Shahat cut inside from the left wing and unleashed a low drive from 30 yards that beat goalkeeper Conor Tracey. It was 2-0 on 56 minutes after Sherif beat the offside trap and slipped the ball past Tracey to end the game as a contest with Auckland unable to muster much in terms of an attacking threat.
South Africa international Tau added a late third with a simple finish following a brilliant back-heel assist by Kahraba. The winner of the match between Ahly and Sounders will face Real Madrid in the semi-finals. Home favorites and African champions Wydad Casablanca tackle Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal in their second round tie on Saturday. The victor in that fixture will meet Brazilian outfit Flamengo in the semi-finals. – Agencies