Brazilian outfit Corinthians qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup final in Japan after a 1-0 win over Al Ahly on Wednesday.
Corinthians – the Copa Libertadores champions – will now meet either English Premier League giants Chelsea or Mexican outfit Monterrey in Sunday’s decider.
Backed by a large amount of support inside the Toyota Stadium, Corinthians started brighter and had the first chance of the match when Douglas flashed a half volley wide after just nine minutes.
Ramy Rabia had a good effort at the other end for Al Ahly but Corinthians’ all-round dominance was made to count on the half-hour mark.
Former Bayern Munich forward Paolo Guerrero was the scorer, with the Peruvian heading home a terrific cross from Douglas.
Al Ahly manager Hossam El-Badry introduced Mohamed Aboutrika in the second half and he made an immediate impact for the Egyptian side.
With Aboutrika impressing in midfield, Rabia, Soliman and Ahmed Fathy all had chances to level the scoreline in a much-improved second half.
But they were unable to find an equaliser as Corinthians held firm to seal their spot in the showpiece.
In the day’s other match, J.League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima won the fifth-placed playoff against Korea’s Ulsan 3-2.
Ulsan took the lead thanks to a Hiroki Mizumoto own goal after 17 minutes but Satoru Yamagishi’s strike, netted 10 minutes before the half-time break, brought them back into the game.
A double from Hisato Sato in the second half secured the win for Sanfrecce, despite Yong Lee’s late consolation for the K-League side.
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