Soccer

Corinthians book final spot

2012-12-12 15:26
Paolo Guerrero (AFP)
Toyota - Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero scored in the first half on Wednesday as Brazilian side Corinthians beat Egypt's Al-Ahly 1-0 to advance to the final of the Club World Cup.

Midfielder Douglas sent a perfect cross into the box and Guerrero rose up to make an angled header past the outstretched arms of Al-Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy in the 30th minute.

The Copa Libertadores winners will face the either Champions League winners Chelsea or CONCACAF champions Monterrey of Mexico in the final on December 16 at Yokohama Stadium. The second semi-final is on Thursday.

Corinthians, who won this tournament in 2000, dominated the first half at Toyota Stadium but were pressured by the African champions after the break.

"We weren't expecting such a tough match," Corinthians coach Tite said. "They became more aggressive and were able to possess the ball more after the break. We have a huge responsibility to win and have been under pressure mentally."

A team from South American hasn't won since Brazil's Internacional upset Barcelona 1-0 in the 2006 final.

Al-Ahly came out playing better after the break. Substitute Mohamed Aboutrika went close to an equaliser in the 70th minute with a long-range attempt that was just wide of the target and Walid Soliman hit a ball over the crossbar with five minutes left.

A large contingent of Corinthian fans that travelled from Brazil made sure the South American champions were the crowd favourites.

Al-Ahly, who beat Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1 in the quarter-finals, were appearing in their fourth Club World Cup.

"I'm frustrated to lose because the performance of my players was very good," Al-Alhy coach Hossam El Badry said. "I think we actually played better than Corinthians and deserved to win."

In Wednesday's game to determine fifth place, Hisato Sato scored two second-half goals as Hiroshima beat Asian champions Ulsan Hyundai 3-2.

Sato gave Hiroshima a 2-1 lead in the 56th minute when he deflected a cross from Satoru Yamagishi, and widened the advantage 18 minutes from time with a left-foot shot from close range. Ulsan defender Lee Yong scored a consolation goal from a free kick deep in stoppage time.

South Korean side Ulsan took a 1-0 lead in the 17th on an own goal by Hiroshima defender Hiroki Mizumoto, who redirected a headed ball past goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa.

Hiroshima equalised in the 35th when Satoru Yamagishi calmly tapped in a rebound from a save by Ulsan goalkeeper Kim Young-kwang.

Read more on:    corinthians  |  club world cup  |  soccer
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