Al-Hilal SFC created history by becoming the first-ever Saudi Arabian side to reach the FIFA Club World Cup Final after a stunning 3-2 win over ten-man CR Flamengo at Grand Stade de Tanger.
There was early drama when referee István Kovács pointed to the spot after Matheuzinho was harshly penalised for a challenge on Luciano Vietto in the box.
Undeterred by the laser lights pointed in his direction, Salem Al-Dawsari converted the subsequent penalty to give the AFC champions a fourth-minute lead.
The lead lasted just over quarter of an hour though; Matheuzinho erased the memory of conceding that early penalty by setting up the equaliser, feeding in Pedro to fire home a clinical first-time strike past Abdullah Al-Mayouf.
The first half ended in extraordinary fashion when the Saudi Pro League side were given another penalty, as Kovács was told to view the VAR monitor after Vietto clashed with Gerson inside the box.
Ramón Díaz’s side began the second half in confident fashion, with Moussa Marega allowed to weave his way to the byline and pick out Khalifah Al-Dawsari, whose shot hit the crossbar.
That warning was clearly ignored when Vietto doubled the Blue Waves’ advantage with a shot that bounced in off the crossbar, and Diaz’s team had one foot in the final.
However, the Saudi champions held on to become the first Asian side to reach the final since Kashima Antlers in 2016.