Saturday Dec 14, 2019. 18:21
African champions Esperance de Tunis have been beaten 1-0 by Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in a second round (quarterfinal) clash at the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar on Saturday.
The match at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha was a tightly contested one, but ultimately Hilal emerged victorious following a second-half goal from substitute Bafetimbi Gomis.
The Tunisian side enjoyed chances for the likes of Anice Badri and Ibrahim Ouattara through the first half, but Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah Al Muaiouf was not unduly troubled.
The second half saw the Saudi side up their game and begin to test the Blood and Gold’s defence, before finally breaking through on 73 minutes when Gomis netted from Andre Carrillo’s assist.
The African side pushed hard for an equaliser in what remained of the game and even saw their opponents reduced to 10 men when Mohamed Kanno picked up two yellow cards in quick succession in the dying minutes.
But there was no reply from Esperance, who miss out on a semifinal berth against South American champions Flamengo of Brazil.
Instead, Mouine Chaabani’s side will playoff for fifth place at the Club World Cup with a match against either Mexico’s Monterrey or local side Al-Sadd on Tuesday 17 December.
Al Hilal (0) 1 (Gomis 73’)
Esperance de Tunis 0
Hilal: Al Muaiouf, Al Burayk, Jang, Albulayhi, Al Shahrani, Kanno, Cuellar (Gomis 65’), Carrillo, Eduardo, Al Dawsari, Kharbin (Otayf 78’))
Esperance: Ben Cherifa, Derbali, Yaakoubi, Bedrane, Chetti, Bonsu (Khenissi 90+2’), Coulibaly, Benguit (Fadaa 76’), Badri, Ouattara, Elhouni (Bensaha 90+2’)