Preview: Ahli vs. Guangzhou

السبت، 14 ديسمبر 2013 - 11:42

كتب : وكالات

The first quarter-final of the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 sees the winners of the Asian and African Champions League battle it out for a place in the last four of the competition – and a showdown with German giants FC Bayern Munchen.

The match

Guangzhou Evergrande FC – Ahli SC, Agadir Stadium, Saturday 14 December, 16:00 (local time)

After three consecutive Chinese titles, Guangzhou qualified for the Club World Cup by virtue of their maiden AFC Champions League win and are now determined to cause a stir in Morocco. Although this is Guangzhou’s first appearance at the tournament, coach Marcello Lippi, who guided Italy to victory in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, is a veteran of world football and has assembled a team featuring both international stars, such as Dario Conca, Elkeson and Muriqui, as well as several Chinese internationals.

By contrast, Guangzhou’s opponents Ahli are vastly more experienced at this level. This is the Egyptians’ fifth Club World Cup appearance and they are hoping to improve on their best-ever finish of third – at Japan 2006 – in Morocco this year. Al-Ahli also faced Asian opposition in the 2012 quarter-finals. Twelve months ago, the CAF Champions League winners qualified for the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

The stat

11 – Mohamed Aboutrika, Hossam Ashour and Wael Gomaa have made more Club World Cup appearances than any other player in the tournament’s history. The Ahli trio could make their eleventh appearance against Guangzhou.

The words

"They (Ahli) are obviously a good team, well-organized. They're physically and mentally prepared for the match. It will be a tough game for both of us, but hopefully we can make it through to meet Bayern. They are, without a doubt, the best team in the world today,” Guangzhou coach Marcello Lippi.

“Guangzhou are a very special opponent. They won the Asian Champions League for the first time, have a very strong team and one of the most famous and experienced coaches in the world. We’re prepared and have just as good a chance of progressing as they have. Our objective is to reach the next round,” Ahli coach Mohamed Youssef.