UAE’s Al Ain to the FIFA Club World Cup FINAL | highlights
Al Ain goalkeeper Khalid Essa wrote his name into UAE history as he decisively saved in the penalty shootout against South American giants River Plate to deservedly earn an unprecedented berth in the 2018 Club World Cup final and likely meeting with Real Madrid.
Sweden No9 Marcus Berg’s flick from a third-minute corner deflected in off centre-back Javier Pinola to lift a boisterous Hazza bin Zayed Stadium to its feet, before Colombian forward Rafael Santos Borre’s predatory double made it 2-1 to the Copa Libertadores holders by 16 minutes.
The video assistant referee would deny offside Egypt midfielder Hussein El Shahat before the break, but Boss team-mate Caio soon fired in at the near post on 51 minutes to emphatically level.
Al Ain dominated against their lauded opponents, but required Argentina winger Gonzalo Martinez to lash a penalty against the crossbar to make it to extra-time.
In the shootout that followed, substitute Enzo Perez’s unconvincing fifth spot-kick was clawed away by Essa to earn the finest club result in the annals of the Emirates game. Aristocrats Madrid should be their just reward on Saturday.