Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly, summary: Afsha goal, goals, stats & highlights | FIFA Club World Cup
Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly: as it happened
Don't go anywhere!
Thank you for following the live coverage of Seattle Sounders 0-1 Al Ahly, it was a great game!
Don't move for the rest of the weekend, as we have got a jam-packed schedule tomorrow.
Here is the list and the links have everything else you need to know:
1 - First up we have Mallorca vs Real Madrid.
2 - Then it's Spurs vs Man City (with myself).
3 - After that we have Pumas vs Atlas.
4 - And we finish off with Barcelona vs Sevilla!
Anyway, I hope that is enough football for you.
They enjoyed that win...
And quite rightly too!
Both sets of fans were great tonight, albeit in very different ways. The Al Ahly fans were, well, you can see, crazy!
Seattle''s representation was also very loud but in an extremely coordinated fashion. All in all, it was a nice mix of styles both on and off the pitch.
Anyone remember this?
What a great couple of photos they are, of the last time Real Madrid played Al Ahly!
On the other hand... a fantastic victory!
Al Ahly, despite their lack of creativity and a final ball, did enough to stifle Seattle Sounders and stop them from making clear chances on a regular basis, especially in the second half.
It's another clean sheet for them and Real Madrid will have to be very switched on if they are to break down the defensive wall.
A painful defeat
In the end, it was clear to see that the players' legs got tired and they couldn't continue the onslaught we saw in the first half.
Well, that was a dramatic finale!
Al Ahly's late deflected strike sinks the Seattle Sounders and sends them packing their bags, while the Egyptian dream continues and they will now face the UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid in the next round.
The game bordered on descent into chaos but both teams just about managed to hold things together, and it took a late deflection to separate the two teams.
Overall, Seattle Sounders should be disappointed, they failed to take their chances in the first half and it came back to bite them in the end.
As for Al Ahly, the story is exactly the opposite to that of the MLS side: they held on well and when the chance arose, Afsha was there to pounce (although on first viewing I thought it was Sherif, which entered my mind into a world of Police puns) and seal the deal.
They will face Real Madrid on 11 February.
And it's over!
FT: Seattle Sounders 0-1 Al Ahly
The Egyptian side will play against Real Madrid in the Club World Cup semi-final!
We are into the final minute of the game...
Montero and Heber ON
Ragen and Rusnak OFF
Percy Tau OFF
Al Ahly are in no rush to do anything now, and are happy to let everything roll out of play or back to the goalkeeper.
4 added minutes.
A shot came bouncing off the crossbar and landed at the feet of Afsha who hit a rebound that deflected and bounced past the stranded goalkeeper who could not react in time!
AL AHLYYYYY HAVE SCORED
Chances have been at a premium this half for both sides, which says as much about the defensive qualities as it does about the lack of attacking threat when it comes to the final ball.
Al Ahly have had some great opportunities to find space and players inside the box and have repeatedly failed to do so; Seattle, on the other hand, could only wish they could get that far up the pitch.
C Roldan OFF
Ruidiaz makes a nice run to drag away the defenders so Lodeiro can receive a pass between the lines. The ball is poorly hit from his teamate and ends in nothing. That was a great chance to counter and relieve some pressure from the tiring defence.
Seattle defend a cross well from Hany on the right however the ball is immediately lost and swung back in towards their goal. I think nerves are creeping in...
We are into the final 10 minutes of play.
You can watch Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly live on Fubo TV (free trial available).
Percy Tau slides a fantastic pass into the danger zone but Andrade is there again to sweep up. He's going wild with his teammates about their positioning.
Lodeiro smashes a wild shot high over the bar after a nice touch from Ruidiaz, who has seen nothing in this half either.
Remember, extra time (30 mins) and penalties come if the game stays level...
I think we're seeing the product of tired legs now, as the game ticks on to leave just 15 minutes to go. The structures are ever so slightly beginning to break down and gaps are opening up that were previously not there.
Maaloul gets to the byline and puts in a low cross which is blocked by Gomez Andrade... close again from the Egypitans.
CHANCE FOR AL AHLY!
A quick counter attack leads to a great chance for Sherif to shoot from the edge of the box, but he slides the ball just past the post.
João Paulo ON
Abdelakar is crowded out as the ball comes towards him inside the box.
Seattle need fresh legs on the pitch ASAP...
You can watch Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly live on Fubo TV (free trial available)
There has been a succession of fouls that have broken up the flow of the game over the past few minutes.
Seattle Sounders look to be preparing a change.
Al Ahly make the first move:
Fathy, Taher and Kahraba OFF
Afsha, Sherif and Abdelkader ON
Seattle haven't had anything since the restart, perhaps Schmetzer is thinking about a change to freshen things up.
Percy Tau booked for a foul on my new favourite player.
I have to say, I am impressed with Gomez Andrade today. He has been excellent on and off the ball.
Some great possession for the Egyptian side over the last few minutes that has had Seattle chasing shadows...
Al Ahly are certainly growing into this tie, and are managing to find Percy Tau a lot more in dangerous areas of the pitch.
Seattle Sounders need to keep up the momentum and physicality that they showed in the first half, or they could slip up.
A slippery run from Percy Tau almost sees him get on the end of a nice pass from El Solia. Well defended by The Rave Green, who have just started to drop off slightly.
Gomez Andrade does superbly well to cover a run from Percy Tau who was fed in behind the defence. A strong clearance.
Antencio has a shot that is hit low and hard, easily saved by El Shenawy.
Seattle work the ball nicely on the right but the attack fizzles out.
Then Al Ahly's counter ends in nothing.
Seattle come again, but fail to connect two simple passes.
Not the highest quality moment of football I've ever seen...
If you like, you can watch Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly live on Fubo TV (free trial available).
El Solia with a wonderful switch of play, a huge, looping ball from right to left. What a wonderful pass!
It lands at the feet of Mohamed and the Seattle press is activated. Ball regained.
Seattle, just as they did in the first half, start with a crazy high press and immediately win back the ball.
Here we go for the second half!
No changes for either side.
The players are emerging from the tunnel for the second half...
Here are the Al Ahly fans:
Both sides have been making a great noise inside the stadium so far.
Which set of fans will be able to continue their time in Morocco and get to watch their side against Real Madrid?
Here are some half-time stats:
It's been a dominant performance from The Rave Green, despite being level at the break.
So, that was an interesting half of football.
Seattle were very much the better side in terms of chances created, but nothing was ever crystal clear for them and in that sense, Al Ahly have defended well. The Egyptian side looked to press early and grab a quick goal but soon found themselves in a low block playing counter attacking football, which they have struggled to do given the defence showing of the MLS team.
The Sounders will be happy with the performance but will surely want to get ahead on the scoresheet sooner rather than later because the longer they go without scoring the stronger the nervousness is going to be as the clock ticks on. To do that, they'll have to get more out of Lodeiro and Ruidiaz, who have been well managed by the Egyptian defence.
And that's half-time!
Al Ahly look to have come back to life and are now pressing the life out of Seattle Sounders. A shame for them that there is less than 30 seconds to go...
2 added minutes.
Just another reminder that you can watch Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly live on Fubo TV (free trial available)
Maaloul's through pass is blocked and that nearly sent Mohamed through on goal.
The resulting clearance was a low drive that nearly played Morris in, 45 yards from goal. Saved by a very timely goalkeeper.
The Seattle fans are happy with what they are seeing: they are all jumping up and down in an amazing display of coordination and rhythm.
Attempts on goal so far:
Seattle Sounders 7-0 Al Ahly
Lodeiro pops up behind the defence and dances his way into the box. He hits a low cross that is blocked by Abdelmonem.
Morris has a driving run from midfield down the left channel and his cross is deflected out for a corner. He was like a huge, blonde steam train.
Frustration from Kahraba as he makes a great run down the right but his touch is poor and the ball bounces out for a goal kick to Seattle.
A series of crosses from the MLS side are well defended by the Al Ahly players. They just seem to have dropped off about 5 to 10 yards...
WHAT A CHANCE! WASTED BY RUSNAK!
El Shenawy makes a huge error in kicking the ball straight to a Sounders midfielder, who places the ball on the edge of the box for Rusnak to hit, but his shot is terrible and bobble out of play.
Lodeiro finds a gap down the right behind Maaloul but is shown away from goal well and the ball goes out of play. He is being marked well by Al Ahly, and the Sounders need to find a way of getting him more involved in transition moments to get his full impact.
A lovely recovery from Nouhou (who has been excellent in stepping out) leads to some nice link-up play between the two Roldans, but Al Ahly defend well in their unit.
There's a great defensive intensity to both sides tonight, fair play to Seattle Sounders for being so physically ready. I wouldn't even be able to tie my shoes without a half-time break if didn't do anything since October.
A bit of pinball in the box ends with Taylor blowing for a free kick in favour of the Egyptian side, after Atencio clipped a defender's leg.
Back underway... he's good to go.
Play is stopped while the Al Ahly goalkeeper receives treatment after an awkward landing.
AND IT'S CLOSE!
El Sherawy comes flying off his line, misses the ball completely, and leaves Morros the chance to head the ball in!
His effort, however, went straight into the ground (he probably wasn't expecting to make contact) and it bounces wide.
Morris does well down the right side to win a corner for The Rave Green.
Roldan down again, this time from a challenge from left-back Maaloul, who clattered into him from behind.
Excellent defensive work from the MLS side there to get back in a flash and crowd out the counter attack. Those double training sessions have definitely had their positive impact!
Al Ahly counter from a Sounders corner... this looks dangerous.
Of course, just as I say that, Roldan is caught by a late, late challenge from Mohamed. Ouch.
Lcukily, he seems fine to carry on.
Things have calmed over the past few minutes, with the nervous early punches out of the way. Let's see if either side can get into some sort of rhythm.
Remember, you can watch Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly live on Fubo TV (free trial available).
Al Ahly almost get on the end of a pass to Sounders goalkeeper Frei, who manages to swing a grateful boot at the ball and fire it out of play.
Into the wall but the rebound from Lodeiro is hit ferociously and nearly catches out El Shenawy!
Rusnák is lining up the ball...
Referee Anthony Taylor blows for a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box, in favour of Seattle Sounders. This could be a great opportunity to test the goalkeeper.
The MLS side with some sustained possession now, trying to draw out the Egyptian team from their defensive unit...
Seattle Sounders have tried a few long balls into the channels and over the defence now, which seems to be the gameplan.
Mohamed on the left wing does excellently well to skip past two Sounders midfielders, almost allowing him to line up the shot from the edge of the box. Unfortunately for him the ball runs loose.
It's been a lively start so far, no sign of fatigue from Al Ahly or rust from Seattle Sounders so far...
Seattle test their luck with a long ball towards Morris but it is too heavy and goalkeeper El Shenawy catches it easily.
Another Al Ahly attack starts centrally with Dieng but ends up at Hany on the right. I think we've got the theme of today's tactical plan from Koller on the sideline.
Another Egyptian attack from the right side is blocked by Atencio; Hany is doing all the work in attack for his team at the moment, and looks fit and firing.
Al Ahly with some of the ball now and they are pinging it round beautifully with all the confidence you'd imagine they'd have after that fantastic win against Auckland.
Gomez Andrade makes a nice interception on the left side as Tau looked to get on the end of a ball over the top.Top reading of the game.
Immediately it's a high press from the MLS side, who look to box Al Ahly in from the off.
And we're off!
Al Ahly kick us off from right to left!
Recognise the referee? It's Premier League official Anthony Taylor!
The players are out and we're ready to go!
Your ten-minute warning!
Both teams are finishing up their warmups at the Tangier Stadium and are getting ready to go inside for the final team talk before kick-off!
Player to watch: Nicolás Lodeiro
The Uruguayan star has appeared at two World Cups for his country and was in impressive form when the season ended for his club side, having got 7 goals and 7 assists in MLS.
He will have to rekindle that fine form again today in order to get past Al Ahly, who have 6 clean sheets in their last 7 games.
Half an hour to go!
Can the home-grown hero do the business for Seattle today?
He made sure his side were the first non-Mexican team to win theConcacaf Champions League since 2005 but they’re nearly four months out of action after failing to make the MLS postseason for the first time in their history.
There's a huge job to be done today against an in-form and talented Egyptian Champions-elect!
Seattle Sounders stat pack:
- Seattle have upped their pre-season to levels like no other MLS team this season: they have been training at a higher intensity than normal and partaking in double sessions in order to be ready for today’s game.
- Manager Brian Schmetzer grew up in Seattle and played for the Seattle Sounders in the NASL between 1980 and 1983.
- The home of the Sounders, the Lumen Field, is a huge, 72,000 seater stadium that was opened in 2002.
- Their nickname is The Rave Green, which is one of the official colours of the club.
You can watch Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly live on Fubo TV (free trial available)
Seattle Sounders starting XI:
João Paulo can only make the bench. Other than that, it's a very strong starting XI from Seattle.
Al Ahly stat pack:
- Al Ahly are one of the world’s most decorated clubs, having won 42 Egyptian Premier League titles, 37 Egypt Cups, 12 Egyptian Super Cups and a record ten CAF Champions League titles.
- They are known as The Red Devils and The Club of the Century, and this edition of the CWC is their third consecutive time at the tournament.
- Their best finish at the CWC is third place, and they have appeared in the tournament the most, on 10 different occasions.
- Marcel Koller is the manager, a Swiss coach who was the head of the Austrian national team between 2011 and 2017.
You can watch Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly live on Fubo TV (free trial available)
Here's the Al Ahly XI for tonight!
Right-back Hany makes the cut in what is a strong lineup for Al Ahly.
Here is how Al Ahly got on last time out, against Auckland City. As I said before, if it were a boxing match, it would have been stopped well before the final whistle.
The fans are ready!
Safe to say they're pretty excited about the prospect of featuring in the Club World Cup!
Al Ahly: road to the Club World Cup
The Egyptian powerhouse battered Auckland City 3-0 in the previous round of the tournament, in a game that was so one-sided a boxing referee would have called it off.
Al Ahly are the current leaders of the Egyptian Premier League and are making their 8th appearance in this tournament, although they are yet to win it.
They have only conceded one goal this season and are unbeaten since May, where they lost the CAF Champions League final against Wydad. The qualified for the CWC as runners-up of the African tournament.
Seattle Sounders: road to the Club World Cup
The first ever MLS representation in the Club World Cup, Seattle Sounders did not have an easy road to make it to Morocco.
The final of the Concacaf Champions League was an astonishing 5-2 victory over Liga MX side Pumas, but before that they overcame FC Montagua, Club León and New York City FC to seal their place in the last round of the tournament. Any team who overcomes such a difficult run definitely deserves to be rewarded with an opportunity like this.
However, the Sounders have not played a competitive fixture since 9 October 2022 and their formal season does not start until later in the month, meaning there could be some rusty joints that need shaking off.
A game for the ages on the line
The winner of today's game will go through to the semi-final of the competition and face 4-time winners Real Madrid, who are the most successful club in this tournament.
The other semi final is going to be one of Wydad or Al Hilal, who will face Flamengo for a place in final.
I'm going to do both teams in one message, since it's happy days all round.
Brazilian midfielder Joao Paulo ruptured his ACL in the CONCACAF final, but re-appeared in the final warm-up game against Hammerby, so may be in contention to feature, which would be a huge plus.
As for Al Ahly, Mohammed Hany went off towards the end of the game against Auckland after getting a bruised thigh, but the right-back is expected to be OK for the game today.
You can watch Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly live on Fubo TV (free trial available). Plus, click on the photo above for all the information on the game.
Welcome to the AS USA coverage of the Club World Cup - today we've got Seattle Sounders vs Al Ahly!
(12 pm ET/9 am PT)
It's Joe here and I'll be guiding you through everything today.