Madrid beats Al Ahly 4-1, advances to Club World Cup final
RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Real Madrid secured its place in the Club World Cup final with a 4-1 win against Egyptian club Al Ahly on Wednesday to keep alive its quest for a record-extending eighth world title.
Vinícius Júnior, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo and Sergio Arribas scored for the Spanish side, which will play Al-Hilal in Saturday’s final. The Saudi Arabian team beat Brazilian club Flamengo 3-2 on Tuesday.
Madrid has won the world club title a record seven times, including three times when the competition was called the Intercontinental Cup. Madrid is chasing its first world club title since 2018.
Ali Maaloul scored the lone goal for Al Ahly, with his team already trailing 2-0 in the second half. Vinícius opened the scoring in the 42nd minute for his 50th goal in 202 matches with Madrid. Valverde added to the lead early in the second half before Rodrygo and Arribas sealed the victory in stoppage time. It was the first goal for the 21-year-old Arribas with Madrid's first team.
“We lowered the intensity and suffered a bit, but in the end we could manage it,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “We go into the final very motivated.”
Madrid was without six injured players who did not travel to Morocco, including striker Karim Benzema, defender Éder Militão and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Ancelotti said Benzema and Militão will rejoin their teammates for the final, but Courtois, forward Eden Hazard and defenders Ferland Mendy and Lucas Vázquez are not going to make it.
Madrid had been struggling recently, having won only two of its last seven matches in a stint that included defeat against rival Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final in Saudi Arabia.
Madrid won the Club World Cup in 2014 — also in Morocco — and from 2016-2018. The other titles in 1960, 1998 and 2002 came in the Intercontinental Cup.
The last time a non-European team won the Club World Cup was in 2012, when Brazil’s Corinthians beat Chelsea 1-0 in Japan.
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