- Al Ahly SC to start FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 ™ against Al Duhail SC
- The winner will face Bayern Munich in the semi-final
- Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane talks about his team’s chances
After seven years of absence, Egyptian club Al Ahly SC are making their return to the FIFA Club World Cup. The Red devils are looking for revenge in view of the results obtained in previous editions. Following the draw which took place at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on January 19, the reigning African champions will face the Qataris of Al Duhail SC, hosts of the competition. The winner of this match will face in the semi-final Bayern Munich, giant of German, European and world football.
“Al Duhail are a good team. They won the Qatar Stars League, a very competitive championship in which quality teams like Al Sadd, coached by Xavi participate. Al Duhail won this championship because he also has ‘excellent players and has shown his potential. Mario Mandžukić also played at this club until recently. Now that we know our opponent, we will study him “, explained to FIFA.com Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane on his team’s first game in the tournament.
A difficult mission
The South African insists on the high level of the teams present and therefore of the tournament to come. “All teams and coaches believe in their ability to win the title, but reality shows that against opponents of the caliber of Bayern Munich or the Copa Libertadores winner, the mission is going to be difficult,” he continued.
“We have great players. Everyone is talking about Mohamed Afsha Magdy, maybe because he played a crucial role in our qualification for this Club World Cup, with all the goals he has scored. But none of this would have been possible without the help of his teammates. He is in good shape and is present in important matches, “said the coach.” We must not forget that he is an Egyptian international. We are particularly happy to be able to count on him, with all his qualities, his sense of goal . In his role as an attacking midfielder, he is very valuable to us in creating spaces. “
The experience to tip the scales
Pitso Mosimane participated in the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup Japan as the coach of the African side Mamelodi Sundowns. “It was a tough tournament. The first obstacle was the six hour time difference between the two countries, as well as the cold in Osaka, because it was winter. And frankly, our opponents were better than us,” he admits. “We lost to South Koreans Jeonbuk (4-1) and Japan’s Kashima Antlers (3-0). It was painful for us and we would have liked to give a better image of ourselves. – what by scoring a goal against Kashima, “he recalls.
“It was the club’s first experience in the Club World Cup and I think we felt nervous, like before entering an impressive stage. We were not bad and precisely, that shows the level of competition “, insisting that only TP Mazembe and Raja de Casablanca are the only African clubs to have reached the final. “The task is never easy.”
A poster that makes you dream
By participating in the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 ™, coach Al Ahly dreams of challenging the best clubs in the world. This could be answered in the following round in the opening victory box. “If we beat Al Duhail, then we will face Bayern. It will not be easy, but at the same time we will have nothing to lose,” said Mosimane. “We have to play at our best and represent our continent properly and our country so that they are proud of us. If we give everything on the ground and that results in a defeat, they will be satisfied anyway, because the level is very high “, he points out. “We have a good team and we believe in our ability to achieve high goals. We hope to have the opportunity to play Bayern. It would be a pleasure and an honor, because we would not have the pressure.”
Al Ahly has already participated in five editions of the FIFA Club World Cup, never making it to the second round. “It was with the generation of Mohamed Aboutrika, who never made it to the final. Today the team has changed, so do the times and the club’s last participation in the tournament dates back to already seven years “, however wishes to temper Mosimane. “In 90 minutes, we can still create a surprise as long as we give everything we have on game day.”
On a personal level, will the experience of having already participated in the tournament be useful to the South African technician? “I took part with the Sundowns. It’s a difficult tournament. It’s a FIFA competition and from an organizational point of view, it’s incomparable,” he explains. . “Everything is fantastic: hotels, travel … But the level is always very high. During our participation in 2016, even the South American representative had not managed to reach the final”, he recalls, before to conclude with a glimmer of hope. “Football is a wonderful sport, which can lead to unexpected things. We must learn from what TP Mazembe had achieved.”