Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Club World Cup: Al Ahly to Face Seattle Sounders in Round Two

Sat 04 Feb 2023 | 02:51 PM

Cairo giant Al Ahly SC are set to face The Seattle Sounders, the CONCACAF champion, at the “Ibn Battuta” stadium in Morocco's “Tangiers” in the quarter-final round of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Al-Ahly qualified for the quarter-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup (Morocco 2022), after defeating the New Zealand team Auckland City 3-0 in the preliminary round, scored by Hussein Al-Shahat, Mohamed Sharif, and Percy Tau.

The winner of the Al-Ahly and Seattle Sounders match qualifies to face Spanish Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the tournament, on February 8.

Al-Ahly is participating in the 2023 FIFA World Cup, for the eighth time in its history, and for the third in a row, and the Red devils participated in 7 previous versions in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2020, and 2021.

A defensive masterclass and a shutout against a team several levels below them isn’t much of a surprise from Al Ahly, as they’ve conceded only 5 goals in 15 league games this season, and never more than one in a game. Auckland City gave a respectable effort and kept things relatively even throughout the first half, but Hussein El Shahat’s goal just before halftime shifted things in Al Ahly’s favor and there was no looking back.

Al Ahly’s leading scorer, Mohamed Sherif, doubled the lead in the 56th minute with his fourth goal in his last three games, and substitute Percy Tau put the game away in the 86th minute. Tau’s goal finished off a slick passage of play that saw some line-breaking passes and one clever backheel that demonstrated the kind of chemistry that comes from being in midseason form, one advantage Al Ahly will have over the Sounders.

Another factor that may weigh in Al Ahly’s favor is the crowd. The atmosphere for the opening game was quite good, with a full and lively crowd at Grand Stade de Tanger to cheer on the proceedings. While Sounders fans are traveling in good numbers considering the distance, Al Ahly should be significantly better represented in the stadium on Saturday. That surely won’t deter Seattle as they take the field as the first MLS team to compete in the competition, though.