LIVE: Fluminense vs Al Ahly 2023 FIFA Club World Cup semifinals

Date: Monday, December 18, 2023
Kickoff Time: 9 p.m. local (1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT)
Location: King Abdullah Sport City Stadium (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Official: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Last meeting: None (First meeting)

Al Ahly, the African Champions from Egypt, aim to make history by reaching the FIFA Club World Cup final for the first time. Their journey includes a crucial semifinal match against Fluminense, the Copa Libertadores champions from Brazil, scheduled to take place in Jeddah tonight.

Ahly solidified their place in the semifinals with a dominant 3-1 triumph over host Ittihad Jeddah in the quarterfinals, marking their sixth entry into the World competition semifinals.

Despite their previous five semifinal appearances, Ahly has been unable to progress further. They secured the bronze medal on three occasions (2006, 2020, and 2021) and finished in fourth place twice (2012 and 2022).

Marcel Koller, the coach of Ahly who led the team to a fourth-place finish in the 2022 edition, is determined to create history by steering the team to their inaugural Club World Cup final.

Under the interim management of Brazil’s head coach, Fernando Diniz, Fluminense secured the South American club title, even though they concluded the league season in seventh place.

This year has been a rollercoaster for Diniz, facing considerable challenges as the head of the national team. However, winning the Copa Libertadores title marked a significant achievement, serving as a pinnacle moment for the club as they clinched their first-ever continental championship.

Having earned their inaugural South American title in November, Fluminense secured their place in the Club World Cup for the first time, automatically qualifying for the semifinals.

While the upcoming match may appear challenging for the African champions on paper, the Red Devils have every reason to be optimistic after their impressive performance against Ittihad Jeddah.

Fluminense showcases a roster of skilled players, including midfielder Andre, Colombian winger Jhon Arias, and seasoned striker German Kano. The team is further strengthened by the experienced duo of former Real Madrid fullback Marcelo and former Inter Milan midfielder Felipe Melo.

The winner go on to meet Manchester City or Urawa Reds in Friday’s trophy decider.

FT: Fluminense 2-0 Al Ahly 2023 FIFA Club World Cup semifinals

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