UAE- Al Jazira beat Urawa to book semifinal date with Real M...| MENAFN.COM

Saturday, 25 June 2022 01:19 GMT

UAE- Al Jazira beat Urawa to book semifinal date with Real Madrid

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Ali Mabkhout scored a sensational goal as Al Jazira beat Urawa Red Diamonds in the Fifa Club World Cup second round match to book a semifinal clash against Real Madrid.

Once again Zayed Sports City Stadium turned out to be lucky venue for Al Jazira as the reigning Arabian Gulf League champions outclassed AFC Champions League holders.

Al Jazira made a confident start to the high pressure match. The early exchange of play saw Al Jazira match the Japanese side in speed and movement.

In an enticing contest, each moment was well fought. Both side had contrasting styles making the mini battles in midfield very entertaining. While Al Jazira concentrated on building passes before a final assault, Urawa kept possession and relied on short cheeky passes to find target.

Al Jazira had their moments but missed back-to-back scoring chances. In the 34th minute, Mabkhout made a rampaging run through the right flank and tried to sneak one past Shusaku Nishikawa but the keeper was alert to the occasion. In the related corner taken, Mbark Boussoufa displayed fine skills to send defenders the wrong way before firing a cross into the box and Musallem Fayez sent a powerful header which was parried away by Nishikawa.

At the other end, Urawa were unlucky to have missed out on a clear chance as striker Yuki Muto crossed into the box from right flank to Shinzo Koroki with the keeper to beat but the J-League star missed with his placement.

Just when goals remained elusive, Al Jazira scored in the 52nd minute.

Romarinho delivered a neat pass to Mabkhout, who was in advancing position and Al Jazira talisman coolly placed in the net. Mabkhout showed exemplary calmness to score arguably the most important goal of his club career.

The one-goal advantage would have been lost but keeper Ali Khaseif recovered well on time after fumbling before a dangerous Koroki. There were more chances at either end and defenders did well to check intrusions. It was a nervous end to the match as the Japanese side, backed by spirited fans, kept hunting for an equaliser and came agonisingly close too. However, the night and glory belonged to Al Jazira - 'the pride of UAE'. Coach Henk ten Cate got the best birthday gift on Saturday night as his boys now meet Real Madrid at the same venue on Wednesday. -


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