Al Hilal 0-1 Chelsea summary: score, goals and highlights FIFA Club World Cup
Al Hilal 0-1 Chelsea: as it happened
- Chelsea have defeated Al-Hilal 1-0 courtesy of a Romelu Lukaku goal!
- Al-Hilal have some Premier League talent in their side with Odion Ighalo - recently with Manchester United - up front in attack.
- This is only Chelsea's second trip to the FIFA Club World Cup. The last was in 2012 when they lost to Corinthians of Brazil. They are now set to face yet another Brazilian side in the finals as Palmeiras await.
- Al-hilal will be looking to stand strong as the last representative of the AFC.
Can Chelsea go one better?
Having never won a FIFA World Club Cup title before, the pressure will undoubtedly be on the side from London as they prepare to face Palmeiras in the finals on Saturday 12th February 2022.
While one would probably assume that European teams with their pedigree dominate the tournament, the reality is it's actually sides from Brazil who have enjoyed a productive history in the cup's history. In fact the one and only time that Chelsea was in the final before - back in 2012 - they lost to Corinthians of Brazil!
A cause for Chelsea conern?
While Chelsea were by far the dominant side in the encounter, there will undoubtedly be questions about the manner in which they play around the opposition's area. Possession aside, the reality is the Londoners looked disjointed at best for large spells of the first hour of the match.
In contrast, it was actually Al-Hilal who seemed to create the more dangerous chances towards the end of the match as the clock ticked away. Indeed, the side from Saudi Arabia were perhaps unlucky not to find the net late on in the game and would probably have done so were it not for some brilliant play in goal by Keppa.
The one thing that is assured now is that Chelsea will meet Palmeiras in the final where they can most definitely expect an opponent that will not only be more organized in defense, but offer a much more potent attacking threat as well. Be sure to join us here on AS USA when the final comes as we will once again be bringing you live text coverage!
An important step for Chelsea
While some often accuse the World Club Cup as being a sub par standard, the reality is that it's an important title to hold for any team hoping to establish itself as a global force to be reckoned with. With Chelsea's coming opportunity, they will have the chance to follow in the foot steps of the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United to name a few.
And that's how it went!
For the first time since 2012, Chelsea will be returning to the Club World Cup finals. They are now set to face Palmeiras of Brazil and will surely be motivated to see a repeat of the last time they were in the finals when they loss to a fellow Brazilian side, Corinthians!
Al-Hilal show they can play
In a match that was expected to be a mere formality for the side from London, the reality is it was anything but easy. Indeed, Al-Hilal not only put together a series of intricate plays across the 90 minutes, but were actually only thwarted by a handful of sensational saves from Keppa in Chelsea's goal.
The team from London for their part were tidy as expected and with Kante and Kovacic on the prowl in midfield, they definitely won the battle for the critical spaces on the field. With that said, however, they were quite often limited to shots from distance or crosses which often did not find their targets.
In the end while Al-Hilal didn't quite do enough to warrant a victory, what is clear is that they were more than able to compete with the champions of Europe!
And it's all over! Chelsea run out 1-0 winners against Al-Hilal in this FIFA World Club Cup Semi Final. If you've just joined us then let us both welcome you to what was our live text coverage of the game here on AS USA and allow us to also invite you to have a look through our feed for all the details about how the game went!
As things stand, Chelsea have booked their place in the finals where they will meet Palmeiras of Brazil
Chelsea are in possession and seeking to close the game out strongly, but the Saudi Arabians regain the ball and try for one last throw of the dice. In the end the ball is played too long to the left corner and it will be a goal kick.
We've just arrived at the 90th minute and there will be 3 minutes of stoppage time.
As we close in on the end of the match in this FIFA World Cup Semi Final, it's Chelsea leading Al-Hilal 1-0 courtesty of a Lukaku strike in the 32nd minute.
The corner is too deep but recovered by Mount once again whose dangerous ball from the right side is completely missed by those waiting in the middle.
Chelsea on the attack once again with Mason Mount down the right. In the end the Englishman is unable to turn his cross back infront of goal, but they will have a corner.
Chelsea make a change with Malang Sarr entering the game for Marcos Alonso
Chelsea regain possession and look for Mount on the right side, but the ball is too long and finally marshaled out of play.
There are now just 5 minutes remaining plus stoppage time. Al-Hilal need something now if they are to keep their hopes of a place in the finals alive.
tempers are beginning to flair between some of the players, particularly Mason Mount who escapes the referee's book. Al-Hilal's Ali Albulayhi, however, does not.
We're now at the 82nd minute and time is definitely running out for Al-Hilal. If they are to get something from this match, the time is now.
Al-Hilal will make 2 changes with Salem And Pereira coming out for Carrillo and Dawsari respectively.
After a counter, the ball finds it way to Lukaku, whose delicate ball across the top of the box arrives at the feet of Mason Mount. Unfortunately the Englishman's side footed shot is deflected away for a corner.
Kovacic is carded for a heavy challenge on Salem
It must be said that where chances are concerned, Chelsea has not dominated the match, in fact it may well be that the Saudi Arabians just edge their opponents, but of course the one stat that matters is yet to change. Chelsea remain 1-0 to the good!
The second half has most definitely seen end to end action from the two teams. One has to feel sympathetic for Al-Hilal as they seem to lack just a bit of luck in the final third.
The momentum swings once again and Al-Hilal see an appeal for a penalty go wanting. They are inching closer and closer.
Kovacic seems to be one of the few Chelsea players at the moment who isn't overawed by the Al-Hilal pressure. After a driving run he combines with Mason Mount, but the English international can't return the favor.
The crowd is now also growing in belief as the team in blue - not Chelsea - is gaining more of a foothold in the match.
Chelsea will take out Ziyech for Mason Mount.
Al-Hilal's Pereira is yet again the man of the moment as he sees his shot from distance go just wide. Chelsea will be asking questions at the moment as the team from Saudi Arabia is taking more and more control of the game.
Al Hilal are on the rise without doubt now as they can perhaps sense that there is indeed something in this game for them.
Again the Saudi Arabians unlock the Chelsea defense. This time its Ighalo who sees his shot blocked by the defense, but the follow up shot from Pereira is even more fierce. The only thing that stopped it from being an equalizing goal was an outstanding save by Keppa!
The first booking of the match will go to Gustavo Cuellar of Al-Hilal for his foul on Havertz in the middle of the field.
In the end the freekick comes to nothing but Al-Hilal do have a throw in deep in Chelsea territory.
From the corner Havertz commits a foul at the top of the box. A dangerous position for the English as they will now face a free kick from just in front of their area!
In perhaps the move of the night, Al-Halil carved open Chelsea's defense but Marega is unable to turn the ball into the net. In the end Chelsea's keeper stands firm and the score remains 1-0. A corner to Saudi Arabia.
We've just arrived at the hour mark and if you're just joining us, it's the FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final between Chelsea and Al-Hilal. For the moment the Londoners are enjoying a 1-0 lead over their opponents from Saudi Arabia!
After a very intelligent piece of play involving Kante and Azpilicueta, the ball fell to Ziyech who saw his slicing left footed drive brilliantly saved by Al-Hilal's goalkeeper!
In what should have been a more productive moment for Al-Hilal, former Manchester United forward Ighalo saw his shot blocked by Chelsea's defense. Chelsea break but the ball is put out for a throw in.
For the moment both teams are giving as good as they are getting, however there has been no real threat to either goal. The Saudi Arabian side will feel encouraged by the passage of play in this opening 10 minutes of the second half.
As the corner glances across goal, Havertz is unable to get onto the end of it.
Chelsea appear to have weathered the storm in terms of Al-Hilal's possession, however, Azpilicueta fails to control the ball when under no pressure and Al-Hilal break. After decent recovery by Chelsea's defense they launch a counter of their own and will now settle for a corner.
A heavy foul by Kanno in midfield. Chelsea to restart with a free kick.
Al-Hilal are enjoying a decent spell of possession now, which ends in a decent effort from Mohammed Kano. Unfortunately for the Saudi Arabians, his effort blazes over the bar, but they will feel encouraged.
Al-Hilal have definitely entered the second half with a greater sense of intensity. The question will now be can they actually turn their intentions into a reality?
After a long distance run Kai Havertz made his way all the way into the 6 yard box where he then tried to dink the ball over the goalkeeper. The German would have succeeded too if not for the near post assisting the goal keeper in his efforts. Goal kick to Al-Hilal!
Chelsea made one change at the half with a straight swap in midfield. Kante entered for Giorgihno.
We're off and running once again in this FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final between Chelsea and Al-Hilal.
Halftime in Abu Dhabi
So at the half it's Chelsea who currently have the lead as they look to book themselves a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup Finals. For the moment the Londoners are have been clearly the better side, but they will know that there is enough quality amongst their opponents to cause real problems should they fail to concentrate.
And that's a wrap for the first half. Chelsea has unsurprisingly been the team in control of the first 45 minutes of play and to their credit have got their goal. The score stands at 1-0 as the teams head to the locker rooms.
If Al-Hilal are to get anything out of this match, their first order of business will be to secure the middle of the pitch. For the moment they have been guilty of needless errors in midfield, which against average opposition would be a problem, far less the defending European champions!
We are closing in on the end of the first half and it's Chelsea leading Al-Hilal 1-0 in this FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final!
Hakim Ziyech is yet again the aggressor for Chelsea, this time he sees a powerful shot - that would have been problematic - blocked by the defense.
Chelsea are on the hunt yet again and this time they win a corner. Ziyech's dangerous cross into the box from the set piece is cleared to safety. The Saudi Arabians live to fight another day!
Al-Hilal seem to be intent on not lying down though they are currently trailing Chelsea by a goal. Salem Al Dawsari sees his right footed shot from outside the box go agonizingly close. They will need more of that if they are to get something out of this game!
It's Lukaku. As if on queue, the Belgian pounced on the rebound of a shot from his teammate and is able to steer the ball into the net. Chelsea now sit at 1-0 in this FIFA CWC Semi Final against Al-Hilal!
A very decent piece of play from Chelsea's Andreas Christensen, however, it comes to naught in the end as he's unable to pick out a teammate in the attacking third.
We've just arrived at the halfway mark and the score stands at 0-0 in this FIFA Club World Cup Semi Final between Chelsea and Al-Hilal. If you're just joining us then welcome to our live text coverage here on AS USA!
Thhiago Silva is called for pulling the shirt of his opponent. He's lucky to not have received a booking. A free kick to Al-Hilal.
As we close in on the half hour mark we are yet to have a goal, but one could say it's coming in that Chelsea are in the ascendancy as they take more and more control of the game. If you're just joining us, it's the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup and we are bringing you live text coverage here on AS USA of this semi final between Chelsea and Al-Hilal
Chelsea are now truly in command of the match as they play around their defense and once again look for Azpilicueta on the right hand side. One can plainly see the divide in ability between the two teams.
Lukaku is once again the protagonist, but as he attempts to dribble past the defense he is dispossessed. Al-Hilal survive yet another dangerous moment.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) receives a good pass from just outside the box and fires a shot at goal. but sees his effort blocked by the defense. Chelsea have yet another corner.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) receives a decent pass from just outside the box and fires a good shot at goal, but his effort is blocked and Chelsea have yet another corner.
Al-Hilal break after the failed corner but are immediately dispossessed. Chelsea's break is interrupted by what appears to have been a handball, but there is no VAR appeal and so we continue. Chelsea again with a corner.
Lukaku in his first action of the game receives a great cross, but fails to control the ball in front of the goal. Al-Hilal manage to clear but there will be a corner. Can Chelsea convert?
Thiago Silva sees a fierce effort go just past the left post after he took a foray into the opposition's half. Al-Hilal will count themselves lucky that the Brazilian was off the mark.
Despite the gulf in quality that is normally observed in these games, it's interesting to note that European teams have only won on four occasions in the tournament's history. Indeed the affair has typically been dominated by Brazilian teams!
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) is penalised after knocking an opponent down. Al-Hilal have a free kick. Alonso will want to be careful as it's not the first time in these early stages that he's received a talking to from the referee.
Kai Havertz a freekick needlessly. Havertz of course the man who gave Chelsea their Champions league title last season with his goal against Manchester City. Al-Hilal will restart.
The teams are feeling out each other for the moment. Ziyech, however, appears to want to get things going as he plays to the right with Chelsea captain Azpilicueta.
And we're off in this Semi Final of the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup! It's the reigning European champions Chelsea against Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia in what promises to be an interesting affair.
If you've just joined us then welcome to our live text coverage of the match here on AS USA!
Who are Al Hilal?
Al Hilal have enjoyed plenty of success since they were founded in 1957, winning 50 domestic trophies including a record 17 Saudi Professional League titles and a number of Arab regional competitions.
On the continental stage, they have been crowned champions of Asia a record four times following their victories in the Asian Club Championship in 1991 and 2000 and the AFC Champions League in 2019 and 2021.
New signing Ighalo scores in quarter-final win
Al-Hilal signed former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo in January and the Nigerian player has scored once in six previous appearances against Chelsea.
Al Hilal won their Club World Cup quarter-final against Al-Jazira of Abu Dhabi by a 6-1 scoreline with new signing Ighalo on the scoresheet.
Chelsea without Tuchel
Chelsea will be without head coach Thomas Tuchel when they take on AFC Champions League holders Al Hilal in the second semi-final of the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup on Wednesday.
Tuchel missed the Blues’ FA Cup victory over Plymouth Argyle on Saturday after testing positive for covid-19, and has so far been unable to fly out to Abu Dhabi with the UEFA Champions League winners.
Although the German has been ruled out of the Al Hilal clash, he could yet return to the dugout for a potential final, against Copa Libertadores holders Palmeiras on Saturday.
Chelsea are featuring at the Club World Cup for the second time, having been beaten by Corinthians in the 2012 final.
The 2022 FIFA Club World Cup semi-final between Al Hilal and Chelsea will kick off at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday 9 February 2022 at 8:30pm local time (GST).
In the US, that’s 11:30am ET and 8:30am PT. In the UK, the game starts at 4:30pm (GMT).
Al Hilal vs Chelsea: hello & welcome!
Hello and welcome to AS USA's live coverage of this FIFA Club World Cup semi-final between Al Hilal vs Chelsea at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.