UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid came out on top in an entertaining meeting between the most decorated clubs of Europe and Africa, beating Al Ahly 4-1 to set up a FIFA Club World Cup (CWC) final with Saudi giants Al-Hilal.
Shortly after that near-miss, Hussein Elshahat’s venomous strike at the other end forced Andriy Lunin into a strong save at his near post, as Al Ahly made more forays forward.
In the true manner of a team looking to win this competition for the fifth time, Real started the second period as they ended the first, and took just over a minute after the restart to double their lead.
Federico Valverde coolly worked space for himself and finished after Rodrygo’s initial effort had been saved, all but giving the Champions League holders the key to the final.
Lunin was also forced to make a brilliant save to block substitute Taher Mohamed’s header, but Real then got their own chance from 12 yards, when Vinícius went down under pressure from Elsoulia, although Luka Modrić’s spot kick was authoritatively saved by Elshenawy.
Real’s third finally came when Rodrygo rounded off some wonderful link-up play with Dani Ceballos by providing a cheeky finish.
Meanwhile, Al Ahly fell at the semi-final stage in a third consecutive CWC campaign, and will now hope to beat Flamengo in the third-place play-off to equal their best-ever finish in the competition.