Club World Cup: Corinthians beat Al Ahly to clinch place in final

Club World Cup

  • Venue: Japan
  • Date: 6-16 December

Coverage: Semi-finals and final live on BBC HD channel and website. Live text commentary for Chelsea matches on website.

South American champions Corinthians clinched their place in the Club World Cup final with a 1-0 win over African champions Al Ahly in Japan.

Peru forward Paolo Guerrero met Douglas's exquisite left-wing cross with a firm downward header to net the 30th-minute winner.

Significant dates

  • 6 December: Opening fixture, Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Jpn) 1-0 Auckland City (NZ)
  • 9 December: Quarter-finals - Hiroshima 1-2 Al-Ahly & Ulsan Hyundai 1-3 Monterrey
  • 12-13 December: Al Ahly 0-1 Corinthians & Chelsea v Monterrey
  • 16 December: Final and third-place play-off

The closest Al Ahly came to equalising were long shots from Ramy Rabia and Walid Soliman after half-time.

The Brazilian club will play either Chelsea or Monterrey in Sunday's final.

Corinthians, who won the inaugural event in this incarnation of the competition in 2000, dominated the first half against the African Champions League winners and perhaps should have gone into half-time with more than just ex-Bayern Munich striker Guerrero's goal to show for their superiority.

Attacking midfielder Douglas's delightful outside-of-the-boot cross picked out Guerrero, who planted his header into the bottom corner of the Al Ahly net.

The Egyptians, who booked their spot in the tournament by winning last month's African Champions League final, struggled to impose themselves on the contest in a timid first-half display.

But their confidence rose after the break as they started to dominate possession.

Analysis

"Looking at Corinthians and Al Ahly, Chelsea are a long way ahead of these sides. They will tear these sides to shreds if they play with the right attitude."

Midfielder Mohamed Aboutreika was introduced as a second-half substitute and the veteran Egypt international immediately took control, opening up the Corinthians defence with an incisive pass that Ahmed Fathy prodded wide.

Either side of that chance, Rabia shot wide and Soliman sent a dipping effort over the Corinthians crossbar.

Al Ahly continued to probe without fully stretching Corinthians goalkeeper Cassio and the Brazilians held out, to the delight of their 20,000 travelling fans inside the Toyota Stadium.

European champions Chelsea make their competition debut on Thursday against Mexican side Monterrey in the other semi-final.

The Concacaf champions set up the tie against the Blues in Yokohama with a 3-1 victory against South Korean club Ulsan Hyundai.