Al Ahly defeated the Seattle Sounders 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a goal from Mohamed Afsha in the 88th minute on a deflected shot. This victory advanced Al Ahly into the Club World Cup semifinals.
After being added as a substitute in the 63rd minute, Afsha scored. He ended the first appearance by a team from the United States in the competition and advanced Al Ahly into the semifinals for the third consecutive year.
His first attempt from beyond the penalty area struck the crossbar. Afsha’s second attempt glanced off defender Alex Roldan and flew past goalkeeper Stefan Frei because Seattle was unable to clear the threat.
The Egyptian club’s lone shot on goal came during a game in which both teams played extremely defensively and few chances to score were created.
Next Wednesday in Rabat, Al Ahly will play Real Madrid in the semifinals. Since August 27 in the Egyptian Premier League, Al Ahly has not lost a game in any competition.
Despite placing third in each of the last two Club World Cups, Al Ahly has never advanced to the championship game.
After winning the CONCACAF Champions League in May, Seattle became the first club from Major League Soccer to compete in the Club World Cup. The Sounders came into the competition hoping to play at least three games and get beyond their opening match.
Seattle was strong defensively, but it lacked quality chances to score. Josh Atencio, a defensive midfielder for Seattle, made a speculative shot on goal early in the second half that was the only shot on goal they managed to get.
“I think we did well, I believed we were on equal footing. a few opportunities. But it’s unfortunate that the goal took a deflection, according to Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer.
While the rest of MLS was preparing for the upcoming season, Seattle was playing its first competitive game in three and a half months. The Sounders’ most recent game was in October of last year, and they came together for MLS preseason training in early January.
“They gave the game their all. They give the preseason their all, Schmetzer added.