LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – African champions Al Ahly finished in third place at this year’s FIFA Club World Cup after defeating Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras on post-match penalties at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on Thursday.
Al Ahly won the penalty shootout 3-2 after the game finished goalless after normal time with no extra time being played.
Both defences held firm in a match which saw the Brazilian side dominate possession and create more chances than their Egyptian opponents.
Junior Ajayi thought he had broken the deadlock halfway through the second half after he tapped in from close range after Palmeiras goalkeeper Weverton parried away Amr El-Sulaya’s acrobatic volley. However, his goal was ruled out for offside.
The shootout was level at 1-1 after six penalties were taken with both sides missing two out of their first three spot-kicks.
Mohamed Hany and Ajayi would then score the next two penalties for Al Ahly, and while Gustavo Gomez scored the fourth one for Palmeiras, veteran Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo missed the decisive kick to hand Al Ahly victory.
Al Ahly’s sixth appearance at the tournament saw them match their best-ever finish at the tournament. In 2006, they also finished third following a 2-1 win against Mexican side Club América.
The Egyptian giants are next scheduled to kick off the defence of the African Champions League title against Al-Merreikh of Sudan on Tuesday.