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 to make an angled header past the outstretched arms of Al-Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy in the 30th minute.
The Copa Libertadores winner will face either Champions League winner Chelsea or CONCACAF champion Monterrey of Mexico in the final on December 16 at the Yokohama Stadium. The second semifinal is on Thursday. Corinthians, which won this tournament in 2000, dominated the first half at the Toyota Stadium but was pressured by the African champion after the break.
“We weren’t expecting such a tough match,” Corinthians coach Tite said. A team from South America 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 Corinthians fans that travelled from Brazil made sure the South American champion was the crowd favourite.
In the game to determine fifth place, Hisato Sato scored two second-half goals as Hiroshima beat Asian champion Ulsan Hyundai 3-2.
The results: Semifinal: Al-Ahly (Egy) 0 lost to Corinthians (Bra) 1 (Guerrero 30). Fifth place playoff: Ulsan Hyundai (Kor) 2 (Mizumoto-og 17, Lee Yong 90+5) lost to Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Jpn) 3 (Yamagishi 35, Sato 56, 72).
Keywords: Club World Cup