Egypt’s Al Ahly’s dreams of claiming the coveted Fifa Club World Cup went up in smoke on Tuesday night.
This is after Brazilian side Fluminense secured a resounding 2-0 victory in the semi-final clash.
Despite a promising start from the African champions, they succumbed to the prowess of the Brazilian outfit, setting the stage for Fluminense to face either Urawa Reds or Manchester City in the grand finale on Friday.
In the early stages, Al Ahly’s talisman Percy Tau missed a golden opportunity, with veteran defender Felipe Melo executing a crucial last-ditch sliding tackle.
As the first half progressed, Fabio, Fluminense’s goalkeeper, showcased his skills with an impressive one-handed save from a Kahraba header, keeping the scoreline level.
The turning point occurred ten minutes before halftime when Tau, unfortunately, fouled Marcelo in the box, leading to a penalty. Jhon Arias calmly converted the spot-kick, giving Fluminense a 71st minute lead. Despite a swift response from Al Ahly, with Tau meeting a low cross, his close-range effort lacked the necessary power.
In a game-defining moment, substitute John Kennedy sealed Fluminense’s triumph by curling home the second goal late in the match. The Red Devils, despite their decorated veterans, were unable to mount a comeback, and Fluminense’s emerging talents capitalized on their opportunities with ruthless efficiency.
Having clinched the title of South American champions, Fluminense now find themselves one victory away from completing a fairy-tale journey in Friday’s Club World Cup finale.
As Al Ahly’s seasoned players missed their chance on the global stage, Fluminense’s rising stars showcased their prowess, marking a significant chapter in the tournament’s narrative. The stage is set for an enthralling climax as Fluminense prepares to vie for the ultimate glory on Friday.