12:30 ET Canada-USA | 19:30 Cairo Local Time
Venue: Education City Stadium
Referee Mario Escobar

The nine-time African champions face local Qatari champions Al Duhail on Thursday in Doha.

The prize for the winners is a semi-final game against European champions Bayern Munich on Monday.

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Al Ahly’s coach Pitso Mosimane revealed his happiness for participating once again in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Mosimane spoke to the media today via video conference about our game against Al Duhail SC in the first round of the FIFA Club World Cup.

“We came here because we are the African Champions. We have great confidence in ourselves and we aim to reach our maximum levels in the competition.”

“We have great determination and we will not leave the pitch unless we are totally satisfied with ourselves. We are keen to please our fans, as they always support us.”

“We respect Al Duhail a lot, as they have many good players and they managed to win QNB Stars League. Also, they will play at their homeland and among their fans, besides that, they have many good foreign players.”

“The game will not be easy, but I have full confidence in my players and I promise our fans that we will do our best to meet their high expectations.”

Badr Benoun joined today’s full training normally, after recovering from the minor leg bruise which he suffered in yesterday’s training.

Also head coach Pitso Mosimane was keen to check on Benoun’s status, before the start of the team’s training.

According to what was announced by FIFA, Escobar will be the arbiter, and he will be assisted by his compatriot Humberto Panjoj and the Jamaican Nicholas Anderson, with the Lebanese Abdelkader Zitouni serving as a fourth referee.

Canadian Dario Fischer will also be present as referee of the video assistant technology VAR, and will be assisted by Dutchman Kevin Blume.

Al Duhail’s squad includes two African stars in Kenya striker Michael Olunga and Morocco’s Mehdi Benatia, who joined the Qatari club from Italian giants Juventus.

“It is a match that everyone is waiting for with lots of quality players,” said Benatia. “I know Egyptian teams – they have high-quality players and I know they will be a tough opponent with their combative style and it will be a match of high level.”

“But we have good quality and are in a good form ourselves. We work well so I think we have the ability to cause them problems.”

Mortagy says that Mosimane has settled in well at Al Ahly since taking over in September when one of his first tasks was to win the African Champions League.

A convincing 5-1 aggregate win over Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca in the semi-finals was followed by a 2-1 victory over arch-rivals Zamalek in the final.

“He is a great coach and a world-class coach too, and he has adapted very well to our club,” Mortagy explained.

“The aim of bringing him – especially during the semi-final and final of the African Championship – was to have someone who has the experience and who knows the opposition player.

“He is beloved by the players, works very hard and at the same time he thinks with a long-term strategy and wants to make something for the future.

“He has the spirit of the club, he knows exactly the values of the club and at the same time, being Al Ahly coach is a great value for him – he wants to leave a legacy for himself at the club.”

This will be Al Ahly’s sixth appearance at the Club World Cup but their first since 2013, and they’ll be looking to improve on their best finish in 2006 when they finished third.


12:30 ET Canada-USA | 19:30 Cairo Local Time

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