Hard fighting Wydad go down to Al Hilal in FIFA Club World Cup
Africa Champions Wydad Athletic club's hopes of playing in semi finals of the 2022 FIFA Club World cup were dashed on Saturday evening after being knocked out by Asian Champions Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia ,5-3 via post match penalties following 1-1 draw in an entertaining 2nd round match played at the Prince Moulay Abdellah in Rabat City.
Home fans filled the streets of Rabat donning red replica jerseys used by their team for home matches, as early as from 11am local time , ready for the historic moment in that regular tickets were going for 100 Moroccan Dirhams(MAD) equivalent to 1,200 Kenyan shillings.
One by one spectators lined up for security checks outside the 45,000 sitter capacity stadium ,going through three security checks for ticket verification before finally accessing the venue for the action .
With songs ,dances and synchronized moves by fans holding thematic white flags could be seen and heard from a distance from kick off which buoyed the home side with long domination and possession of the ball in the 1st stanza but unable to break the deadlock.
After resumption Wydad changed the game plan with more attacks which paid off after 2 minutes when defender Ali Amlouhi shot from outside the box to put them in the lead.
The goal seemed to reinvigorate visitors who threw everything out but it was not until the 89th minute when their plans succeeded after being a warded penalty when Yahia Attiyat Allah handled the ball in box and after a several confrontations, the host were reduced to ten men following 2nd booking of Yahia Jebrane .
Mohammed Kano restored parity for the Asian champions from the spot to send the match into 30 minutes extra time, but since the two sided couldn’t be separated the match was decided via penalties with Al Hilal progressing to the last 4 for a 2nd consecutive time while Casablanca record of 6 matches without a defeat came to an end.
In the 2nd round two match at the stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier,,ten times African Champions Al Ahly qualified for semi final after defeating North and Central American champions Seattle Sounders FC of USA thanks to Afsha’s last minute goal and will face and will meet European champions Real Madrid in the semi final.
Hilal will take on South American Champions Flamengo of Brazil in another semi final.