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Al Ain stun River on penalties to reach Club World Cup final

Al Ain booked their Club World Cup final place at River Plate's expense after a 2-2 draw was followed by a 5-4 shoot-out win for the tournament hosts.

Al Ain's players celebrate after winning the semi final football match of the FIFA Club World Cup 2018 tournament between Argentina's River Plate and Abu Dhabi's Al Ain at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United

Follow the second Club World Cup semi-final live: Kashima Antlers v Real Madrid

River Plate 2-2 Al Ain (4-5 on penalties): match report

Al Ain downed River Plate to make it to the FIFA Club World Cup final on Tuesday afternoon and will play the winners of Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers in the final on Sunday.

They took the lead after just three minutes when Marcus Berg glanced home a Barman header. That lead was short-lived though because Santos Borre, who missed the Copa Libertadores final second leg, scored twice shortly after.

He was lucky with the first as he poked home a shot from outside the box, getting in the way of it more than anything else.

His second goal was a lovely finish though as he broke free on the right and slotted home to turn the game on it's head.

Caio, Al Ain's most dangerous attacker drove a shot home after cutting inside on his right and the game went to extra-time.

They would not be seperated, however, even after extra-time with the game swinging wildly between River Plate's dominance and Al Ain's chances.

The penalty shoot-out started and both sides were even in with a 100% success rate until the very last one of the first ten.

Enzo Perez drove the shot to Eisa's left but the keeper was there waiting for it and Al Ain were through. They rode their luck a times and whoever they play in the final will be coming up against a team who has played three full games with two stints of extra-time in the last week. But it's 90 minutes and the home side are riding a wave of confidence.

River Plate vs Al Ain live online: match updates and commentary

River Plate vs Al Ain: preview

Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium is the venue for the first semi-final of the club World Cup with River Plate playing the hosts Al Ain on Tuesday 18 December 2018. It is River Plate's first game since the historic and dramatic win over Boca Juniors at the Santiago Bernabéu last Sunday night and they are playing a slightly jaded Al Ain side, who have been in action twice this week already.

"We're arriving on the back of a great performance in the Copa Libertadores and now we have the chance to face the champions of the other continents. We want to do well and we're prepared for the competition," says Juan Quintero ahead of the tie. He scored the goal in the Copa Libertadores final that would turn the game in their favour and send them on their way to the UAE. And here they are.

Rafael Santos Borre could return having missed that game in Madrid due to suspension and Jonathan Maidana and Leonardo Ponzio could be rested. Quintero did not start the final against Boca but his intervention was key and he might be rewarded for that performance in Al Ain on Tuesday. 

The UAE champions played more than 210 minutes in the last week after beating Team Wellington in the Club World Cup play-off, which went to extra-time. They also beat El Tunis in a less dramatic 3-0 victory in the quarter-final with goals from Mohamed Ahmed, Hussein El Shahat and Bandar Al-Ahbabi. Mohammed Abdulrahman is available after suspension and Marcus Berg, their striker, returns having missed those two games with a virus that hit the squad. Caio, Al Ain's Brazilian midfielder, is "a very important and interesting player for his team" according to River boss Jesus Gallardo and controlling him will see the Argentines go a long way in controlling the game.

Real Madrid and Kashima Antlers play in the other semi-final on Wednesday but all eyes will be on Al Ain on Tuesday to see who the first team in the FIFA Club World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi are.


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