Sanfrecce Hiroshima vs. Al Ahly  1 - 2

Article

El-Badry thrilled with upset win

9 December 2012 16:51

Al Ahly manager Hossam El-Badry praised his side following a surprise 2-1 win against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the Club World Cup quarter-final.

The Egyptian side, who have played few competitive fixtures this year due to the suspension of their country's professional league, took the lead twice despite at-times heavy snowfall in Toyota and the loss of captain Hossam Ghaly through injury in the first half.

"I'm very happy about the result," El-Badry said after the match. "Today was a difficult game. Sanfrecce is a very good, tactical team, so we studied them well.

"We went for the attack and concentrated on a goal because they were defending deep. We deserved to win today."

After eliminating the favoured Sanfrecce, who themselves were not without injury after goalkeeper Shunsaku Nishikawa was forced to depart in the ninth minute of play, Al-Ahly will face Brazilian outfit Corinthians in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

"Corinthians is a big and strong team," El-Badry continued. "But I will do my homework. Today our play was extremely good, and if we play like that against Corinthians we'll do well."

The former Egypt international also alluded to the political situation in Egypt, part of which has involved the suspension of professional football in the country following the Port Said disaster earlier this year.

"Our league is suspended for political reasons," El-Bahdry said.

"We want to play in our league again. We don't know what will happen, and because of that we've only played friendly matches and did our best under the circumstances.

"Not only us, but all Egyptians can be happy because of today's result."

Meanwhile, Sanfrecce coach Hajime Moriyasu saw positives in his team's loss and credited Al Ahly for their preparation.

"We played aggressive football," the J-League Manager of the Year said at his press conference.

"We expected to compete with our style against Al Ahly, but they studied us and came up with counter-measures.

"There was some confusion after Nishikawa's injury, but (reserve goalkeeper Takuya) Masuda played well. (Defender Ryota) Moriwaki was also substituted because of fitness, and it was bad that we used two substitutions for injured players."

With one Club World Cup match remaining against Ulsan Hyundai on Wednesday, Moriyasu saw an opportunity to prepare for next season's AFC Champions League campaign.

"We'll do our best against Ulsan Hyundai, since some players are injured," the former Japan international continued. "Playing against a physical team will be a good simulation for the 2013 ACL."

Article

FIFA Club World Cup wrap: Monterrey, Al Ahly reach semis

9 December 2012 15:00

Monterrey and Al Ahly booked their spots in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan on Sunday.

Despite sitting seventh domestically in Mexico and without a win in five matches, Monterrey were far too good for K-League outfit Ulsan, winning 3-1 at Toyota Stadium.

The CONCACAF Champions League winners will meet English giants Chelsea - winners of the UEFA Champions League - on Thursday as a reward for their victory.

It took Monterrey just nine minutes to open the scoring through Jesus Corona, who tapped home a superb cross from Mexican international Aldo De Nigris.

De Nigris should have doubled Monterrey's lead three minutes later but his header was straight at Ulsan goalkeeper Kim Young-Kwang, who made a superb save to deny Cesar Delgado moments later.

It was all Monterrey though and they found the back of the net early in the second half, only for Sergio Perez's header to be ruled out for offside.

The all-important second goal finally came on 77 minutes when Argentine Cesar Delgado finished a neat move that involved Corona and De Nigris.

Delgado completed his brace seven minutes later, firing the ball past Kim after Walter Ayovi's pass found him in space.

Ulsan managed a late consolation, with Asian Footballer of the Year Lee Keun-Ho netting a 25-yard effort.

But it mattered little as Monterrey booked a clash against the European champions.

In the other quarter-final match, Egyptian side Al Ahly surprised J.League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1.

African champions Al Ahly took the lead after just 15 minutes when Al Sayed Hamdy found the back of the net.

Hisato Sato pulled back an equaliser for the Japanese outfit 13 minutes before the break to ensure both sides entered half-time with proceedings level.

It was Mohamed Abo Trika who bagged the winner, with the midfielder's 57th-minute strike enough to separate the two sides.

J1 League table

# Team MP D P
4 14 +9 24
5 14 +2 23
6 13 +3 22
7 14 +2 22
8 13 +9 21

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 3 +5 7
2 3 +4 7
3 3 +0 3
4 3 -9 0