FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP FIFACWC: Al Ahly Defeat Urawa Red Diamonds To Clinch Bronze Medal

Despite blowing a two-goal lead and missing a penalty, Al-Ahly overcame Urawa Red Diamonds 4-2 on Friday in an exciting Club World Cup third-place playoff to guarantee a top three finish for the fourth time in the competition.

In their fourth consecutive third-place playoff, the Egyptian team placed third in 2006, 2020, and 2021, and third in 2007 behind Japan’s Urawa.

In the 19th minute, Yasser Ibrahim scored a close-range goal to give Al-Ahly the lead after a short corner move found Mohamed Hany well outside the area.

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The keeper parried Hany’s ferocious effort.

After Atsuki Ito lost control on the outskirts of his own area, Ahmed Koka’s pass found Percy Tau, who had plenty of time to take a touch before blasting past Shusaku Nishikawa, giving Al-Ahly a two-minute lead.

As it appeared as though Al-Ahly was coasting, Jose Kante scored his first-ever goal on a first-time volley in the 43rd minute to give Urawa a response. Kante had declared his retirement in November.

After the interval, Urawa came out with newfound confidence, and following a handball by Mohammed Hany, Alexander Scholz scored a penalty down the middle in the 54th minute to tie the score.

However, it only took six minutes for Al-Ahly to get back in top when Ali Maaloul’s weak attempt deflected off Yoshio Koizumi of Urawa and went past his own custodian.

Al-Ahly had a chance to extend their advantage to two goals in the 75th minute, but Nishikawa dived low to his right to save Maaloul’s penalty and keep his team in the contest.

Urawa exerted significant late pressure, but they were unable to score another goal.

In the ninth minute of extra time, Maaloul’s incredible free kick made up for his missed penalty kick, and the Egyptians secured the victory.

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