Club World Championship 2007, Match 1
Al Ahly 2 Auckland City 0
Toyota Stadium, Toyota
Listen to the Egyptian beat of Al Ahly's fans
Al Ahly improved on their performance in last year's Club World Championship by winning their first match this time around, whereas the team representing Oceania lost out in their opening game for the second year running.
On a chilly night in Nagoya, the African Champions were too hot for the team from New Zealand. After a poor first-half where Al Ahly had most of the possession and Auckland were reduced to the long ball, the game burst into life five minutes after the interval. The Angolan striker Flavio opened the scoring with a fine right foot shot after some good build-up play by the Egyptians. In response, Auckland brought on local favorite 34-year-old Teruo Iwamoto, a midfielder in the Shunsuke Nakamura mode, whose cultured left foot helped the team in white create more of a threat going forward and from free kicks and corners.
Al Ahly, it was though, who sealed the match and sent their colorful band of supporters into raptures, when Egyptian striker Aboutrika rifled home the second and clinching goal from a free kick.
The African champions displayed some pretty combination play going forward and were rarely tested at the back by a technically limited Auckland side, but it is hard to imagine South American champions Internacional having much difficulty in progressing to their expected final match up with Barcelona, when the two teams meet on Wednesday in Tokyo's National Stadium.
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