Club World Cup: Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly could still play Chelsea – Here’s how!

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Dudu scored one goal and created another as Palmeiras defeated Al Ahly 2-0 on Tuesday to reach the Club World Cup final and set up a potential showdown with Chelsea.

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The playmaker released Raphael Veiga for the opening goal in the 39th minute and then fired in a second for Copa Libertadores winners Palmeiras early in the 49th minute.

The Brazilian side await the winner of Wednesday’s second semi-final between Chelsea and Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal as they try to end a run of eight straight titles for European clubs.

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Roughly two-thirds of the 15 000-seat Al Nahyan Stadium was occupied by green-clad Palmeiras fans, many of whom made the 12 000km trip from Sao Paulo, for a repeat of last year’s third-place playoff won on penalties by Al Ahly.

Midfielder Amr El Solia was rushed back into the Al Ahly team less than 48 hours after he started Egypt’s loss to Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final.

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Al Ahly’s hopes were all but extinguished when captain Ayman Ashraf was sent off in the 81st minute for a terrible tackle on Rony, his initial yellow card changed to red following a VAR review.

A third semi-final loss in as many attempts against Brazilian opponents leaves the Al Ahly trying to come away with a consolation bronze for the second tournament in a row.

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Al Ahly could of course still end up playing English Premier League giants Chelsea in that third-place playoff match should the Blues lose to Al Hilal later TODAY, Wednesday, 9 February (18:30 SA time).

‘All is not lost’ – Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane

If Al Hilal were to pull off what would be a shock win, Al Ahly and Chelsea would go head-to-head in Saturday, 12 February’s battle-for-bronze at 15:00 SA time.

The final is scheduled for 18:30 (SA time) on Saturday.

“We have to keep going, we have a medal to play for. It’s not all lost,” said Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane.

“We should try and get a medal for the continent. We have to try more and come again next year and do better.”

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