International

Guangzhou knock out Al Ahly

2013-12-15 11:52
Zhang Linpeng (AP Photo)

Agadir - China's Guangzhou Evergrande set-up a mouthwatering Club World Cup semi-final against European champions Bayern Munich on Saturday after seeing off Egypt's Al Ahly 2-0.

Brazilian midfielder Elkeson and Argentina's Dario Conca grabbed second half goals for the Asian champions in their quarter-final tie.

Elkeson opened the scoring in the 49th minute, slotting the ball home after Brazilian compatriot Muriqui's shot had come off the post.

Muriqui then missed a chance to add a second moments later but sent his shot just wide.

Muriqui was also at the heart of Guangzhou's second goal in the 67th minute.

Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy could only parry his drive into the path of Conca.

The Argentine midfielder, who will leave the Chinese champions to return to Brazil's Fluminense at the end of the tournament, had an easy task to slot the ball home from close range.

Guangzhou, coached by Italian World Cup winner Marcello Lippi, will face the German giants in the last-four on Tuesday.

"We will now play against one of the best teams in the world," said Lippi.

"You can lose 99 times every 100 times you play them, but you could win one. You never know."

The Italian added: "We are delighted with the win. It means an awful lot to us. It's been a tough season for us and there were times when you could see that.

"The battle's taken quite a bit out of us, but we came here well-prepared and we have an excellent side. We're capable of switching our strategies and game-plans to suit the circumstances."

Conca was named man of the match.

"It's great to win this award but the win is the most important thing," he said.

"I dedicate it to my team and family."

Al Ahly coach Mohamed Youssef believes a lack of recent competitive action cost his team.

"We switched off for their first goal and we lost our way after that, mostly because we're a little rusty," he said.

"We haven't played any competitive matches for quite a while, though that's not an excuse because we should have acquitted ourselves better than we did."

The second semi-final will see Copa Libertadores winners Atletico Mineiro take on hosts Raja Casablanca.

The Moroccan champions enjoyed a 2-1 extra-time win over Monterrey of Mexico on Saturday.

Chemseddine Chtibi gave them a 24th minute lead before Monterrey skipper Jose Maria Basanta leveleld in the second half.

Kouko Guehi grabbed the extra-time winner to set up a Wednesday date against the Brazilians.

Bayern Munich are favourites to lift the Club World Cup trophy in Marrakech on December 21.

Read more on:    al ahly  |  bayern munich  |  club world cup  |  soccer
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