- Latin American shock between Palmeiras and Tigres UANL
- Bayern face Al Ahly on the road to his sextuplet
- Ulsan Hyundai and Al Duhail in fight for fifth place
Doha, the capital of Qatar, will once again be the center of attention on February 7 and 8 for the semi-finals of the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup ™.
The first confrontation pits two newcomers to the tournament, Palmeiras and Tigres UANL. If the Green Giant won the Copa Libertadores, he is going through a rough patch on his home turf, having conceded two defeats and two draws in a row that dropped him to sixth in the Brazilian championship. He hopes to turn things around by winning over Tigres UANL to go to the final.
Winners of Ulsan Hyundai in the previous round, the Mexicans are counting on Gignac’s offensive verve. Author of a double against the South Koreans, the French striker is at the top of his form.
The second semi-final opposes Bayern Munich and Al Ahly SC, respectively European and African champions. The German formation will be deprived of Leon Goretzka and Javi Martínez, packages due to coronavirus, as well as goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel, injured in the ankle.
After ousting Al Duhail, Al Ahly hopes to surprise the Germans. The coach of Red Devils, Pitso Mosimane, relies on the effectiveness of Mohamed Magdy, with whom he spoke at length during training before the crucial meeting on Monday.
Match for fifth place
Ulsan Hyundai – Al Duhail
Sunday 6:00 p.m. local time (Ahmad ben Ali Stadium)
Palmeiras – Tigres UANL
Sunday 9:00 p.m. local time (Stade de la Cité de l’Education)
Bayern Munich – Al Ahly
Monday 9:00 p.m. local time (Ahmad Ben Ali Stadium)
The player to watch
Hussein El Shahat is one of Al Ahly’s best offensive assets. A goalscorer at United Arab Emirates 2018 for Emirati club Al Ain, he scored the winning goal against Al Duhail this year. Mosimane, his coach, is counting on him to make the difference against Bayern. The Egyptian striker is characterized by his speed, his penetrating capacity, his strikes from afar and his versatility.
“We know Al Ahly won the African Champions League. So we expect a complicated game, like in 2013. It is difficult to face teams that we do not know well” – Manuel Neuer, gardien du Bayern Munich
“Bayern are a great team, full of high caliber players. I would like to play against Thomas Mueller. I admire him a lot and I appreciate his style of play” – Hussein El Shahat, attaquant d’Al Ahly
At the state
Like the number of friendlies played by Bayern Munich and Al Ahly, who have never crossed paths in an official match. In 1977, the Red Devils won the first meeting 2-1 thanks to Mahmoud El Khatib and Sherif Abdel Moneim. Bayern won the second duel in 1984 in Cairo with the same result, with goals from Uli Hoeness and Lothar Matthaeus for the Germans, and Samir Fawzi for Al Ahly. The third confrontation took place in 2012 in Doha and also ended with a score of 2-1 in favor of the Bavarians. Ahmed El Sayed (on his own) and Mandžukić scored for Bayern, and Mohamed Barakat for Al Ahly.
Did you know ?
The first editions of the FIFA Club World Cup ™ were marked by the dominance of the Brazilian teams, who won the 2000, 2005 and 2006 editions. In recent years, South American clubs have passed the baton to their European counterparts. The only exception was Corinthians, who defeated Chelsea in the 2012 final. Santos suffered the law from FC Barcelona in 2011, while Flamengo lost to Liverpool FC in 2019.