Central Asia

Gomis and Al-Hilal Roar, Al-Sadd Fail to Meet Liverpool

Steven Danis

Football Tribe Indonesia


The two Asian clubs in FIFA Club World Cup 2019 had two different results as the recent AFC Champions League champions, Al-Hilal, booked one ticket to the semi-final while the host and Qatari Stars League champions, Al-Sadd, failed in their mission to meet Liverpool after losing in the quarter-final.

Saudi club Al-Hilal met African Champions League winners Esperante de Tunis from Tunisia on the first so-called quarter-final game. The game looked tight for both Arabian sides as it’s ended goalless in the first half. Al-Hilal, who managed by Romanian legend, Răzvan Lucescu, finally took the lead in 73rd minutes from the goal scored by French star, Bafetimbi Gomis. The Romanian made a genius substitution, giving an entrance for the ex-Lyon and Swansea striker to the field in 65th minute in exchange for midfielder Gustavo Cuellar and changed the strategy from a 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2.

But after Gomis’ goal, Al-Hilal’s midfielders looked like they were in a bit of trouble after Mohamed Kanno received a second yellow card in the 85th minute, just two minutes after he got his first. But luckily for the debutants, the African side couldn’t score until the referee blow the final whistle. They will now face the Copa Libertadores 2019 champions, Flamengo from Brazil, in the next round. 

After their game, the host Al-Sadd meet the CONCACAF Champions League side, Monterey from Mexico. Like the previous game, this one is also interesting as the five-goals drama unfolded in the Jassim Bin Hamad stadium in Doha, Qatar. The Mexican side took the lead twice in the 23rd minute and in first-half injury time as Leonel Vangioli and Rogelio Funes Mori scored and left the Qatar side stunned.

The hope came for Xavi’s boys in 66th minute as Hassan Al-Haydos gives Baghdad Bounedjah a magnificent pass, and the Algerian closed the gap. But Carlos Rodriguez Gomez’s goal in 77th minute pegged them back once again. Despite Abdelkarim Hassan’s goal in the dying minutes, the Qatari side failed to secure a ticket to face Liverpool in the semi-final. 

This year Club World Cup in Qatar kicked-off last Thursday as the hosts met Oceania Champions League winner, Hienghene Sport from New Caledonia. Gabi and his colleagues even found difficulties there as they need 120 minutes before could win 3-1 against the champions from that tiny country for the first time in Oceania football’s history.

Al-Sadd and Esperance de Tunis, who failed for the quarter-final will meet on the 17th of December as they play for the fifth rank position. Meanwhile, the semi-finals pit Flamengo against Al-Ahli and Monterrey against Liverpool.