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Al-Ahly, Monterrey advance to Club World Cup semifinals

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Associated Press
12/9/2012 9:18:59 AM
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TOYOTA, Japan -- Substitute Mohamed Aboutrika scored in the second half on Sunday as Egypt's Al-Ahly beat Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2-1 to advance to the semifinals of the Club World Cup.

Aboutrika took a pass from Ahmed Fathi and beat Hiroshima goalkeeper Takuya Masuda in the 57th minute to send the African champions to a semifinal clash against South American champions Corinthians on Wednesday.

"It was a very difficult match," Al-Ahly coach Hossam El Badry said. "We were playing against a very organized team but we studied them well and deserve the win."

Earlier, Mexican club Monterrey also progressed to the semis with a 3-1 win over South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai.

Striker Elsayad Hamdi put the African champions ahead in the 15th minute, converting a pass from Fathi and beating Masuda, who came on in the eighth minute after Shusaku Nishikawa was injured in a collision.

Sanfrecce striker Hisato Sato, the J-League's Player of the Year, tied the match in the 32nd minute when he got behind Al-Ahly defenders and hit a right-footed shot that deflected in off goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy.

Sato had a golden opportunity to level the score when he got behind the Al-Ahly defenders in the 81st minute but his effort was off target.

The ninth Club World Cup features the champions from FIFA's six confederations, plus a team from the host nation.

FIFA employed goal line technology for Sunday's match. The Hawk-Eye system, which uses seven high-speed cameras set up at different angles at each goal to calculate whether the ball has crossed the goal line or not, was installed but didn't come into play. The magnetic-field-based system of GoalRef is being used at Yokohama Stadium.

Monterrey will face European champions Chelsea in the semifinals on Thursday.

Teenage winger Jesus Corona put Monterrey ahead just nine minutes in when he took a pass from striker Aldo De Nigris and fired into a wide-open net from close range.

Delgado converted a pass from De Nigris in the 77th minute to give the CONCACAF champions a 2-0 lead and made it 3-0 seven minutes later, dodging a defender and firing past Ulsan goalkeeper Kim Young-kwang from just inside the area.

"If we can play like we did today against Chelsea we will have a chance," Monterrey coach Victor Vucetich said. "Last year we lost in the quarterfinals here because we didn't have time to prepare. This year we had plenty of time to get ready for this match."

Lee Keun-ho got a lucky consolation goal for the Asian champions in the 88th minute when his long-range shot was fumbled by goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco.

"The attacking style of this team was quite different than anything we have seen in Asia," Ulsan coach Kim Ho-kon said. "The difference of Asian football was made clear today."

Elsayed Hamdi (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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