Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Al Sadd celebrate their success at the Club World Cup.
Al Sadd celebrate their success at the Club World Cup.

Barcelona test awaits Al Sadd at Club World Cup

The Qatari side reached the semi-finals of the Fifa Club World Cup today by beating Esperance of Tunisia 2-1.

Qatari side Al Sadd overcame a slow start on Sunday to beat Tunisia's Esperance 2-1 and advance to the semi-finals of the Club World Cup where they will face Spanish giants Barcelona.

Esperance dominated play in the first half, but it was Al Sadd that took the lead in the 33rd minute when Kader Keita sent a cross in from the right side that Esperance goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia parried into the air only to have Khalfan Al Khalfan head the ball in.

"Esperance was very good in the first 10 minutes of the match," Jorge Fossati, the Al Sadd coach, said.

"They were able to control the ball and had a lot of space especially in the midfield so I changed the game plan and we were able to control the ball much better and were able to succeed on the counter-attack."

Al Sadd doubled the lead four minutes after the break. Abdulla Koni, left unmarked in front of goal, pounced on a headed ball from Al Khalfan and fired home.

Esperance pulled one back on the hour mark when captain Ousama Darragi headed in Khelil Chammam's free kick. The Tunisians played with a sense of urgency as the match wore on and had two goals ruled offside later in the second half.

Yannick Ndjeng appeared to have equalised for the Africans in the 79th minute, but was judged to be offside. Khaled Ayari also beat Al Sadd goalkeeper Mohamed Saqr in the first minute of stoppage time but was adjudged offside by Chilean referee Enrique Osses.

Esperance supporters showed their displeasure by throwing objects on the field and several supporters ran onto the pitch

"I think we did make both those goals even though the referee ruled them offside," Esperance coach Nabil Maaloul said. "But referees can make mistakes just like players and I am not in a position to question the calls."

Fossati said his team was looking forward to facing the European champions.

"Anything can happen in football," Fossati said. "Barcelona is the best club in the world but as long as we remain humble and maintain our spirit anything can happen."

Al Sadd, playing in the tournament for the first time, advanced last month when the Qatari club upset South Korea's Jeonbuk Motors 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out in the Asian Champions League final.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National