Vice-Champions of Africa, Al Ahly of Egypt will on Saturday slug it out with Seattle Sounders of the USA, for a spot in the Quarterfinals of the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup, which is being staged in Morocco, for the third time in the history of the competition.
The Cairo giants, comfortably saw off Auckland City of New Zealand 3-0, in Tangier on Wednesday to earn the right of playing for a place in the Semifinals, against CONCACAF representatives, Seattle Sounders.
Al Ahly for whom dimunitive forward Percy Tau rounded of the scoring, are looking to build on their comfortable victory against the Oceania kings, by stepping up a gear tomorrow.
The second game of the day, pits reigning African Champions, Wydad Casablanca against Asian champions, Al Hilal in Rabat.
The winner of the Al Ahly vs Seattle Sounders clash will play against favourites and European heavyweights, Real Madrid of Spain, in the semi-finals.
At the FIFA Club World Cup, Al Ahly aka Red Devils are a BIG deal, having twice finished 3rd in the last two editions, with ersewhile Coach Pitso Mosimane in charge.
Historically, they are one of the most successful clubs in the world in terms of major trophies and by far the most successful in Egypt having amassed 42 league titles, 37 domestic cups and 12 super cups. On top of that, they’ve mastered the African continent (10 CAF Champions League titles, one CAF Confederation Cup, a record of eight CAF Super Cups, a record of four African Cup Winners’ Cups, one Afro-Asian Club Championship, one Arab Club Champions Cup, one Arab Cup Winners’ Cup and a record of two Arab Super Cups).
Should Wydad Casablanca beat Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia, they will go on to face Flamengo of Brazil, in other semi-final.
The FIFA Club World Cup Semi-finals are slated for (7-8 February, 2023):
No mystery here. The semi-finals winners face each other in the final.
Final (11 February):
Let’s be honest and say FIFA are hoping for a Real Madrid vs Flamengo final, which would attract the most viewers and is basically the reason they start in the semi-finals. The match will take place in Rabat on 11 February, directly after the third-place playoff.
Seven teams from six different confederations are taking part in the FIFA Club World Cup:
Real Madrid (Spain) – UEFA (2021-22 Champions League winners)
Flamengo (Brazil) – CONMEBOL (2022 Copa Libertadores winners)
Seattle Sounders (USA) – CONCACAF (2022 CONCACAF Champions League winners)
Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) – CAF (2021-22 CAF Champions League winners)
Al Ahly (Egypt) -CAF (hosts and 2021-22 CAF Champions League runners-up)
Auckland City (New Zealand) – OFC (2022 OFC Champions League winners)
Al Hilal – Nominated by AFC
The champions of the different confederations…plus Al Hilal. The AFC Champions League won’t be over until May. No pressure to win it, lads.
The FIFA Club World Cup kicks off in Morocco
The FIFA Club World Cup takes place in Rabat and Tangier in Morocco from 1-11 February and brings together the ‘top’ clubs from the different continents around the globe.
Reporting by Chinedum Ohanusi; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino