Team opens Al-Ahly His participation in the FIFA Club World Cup at exactly nine o’clock this evening, Wednesday, against his counterpart, Auckland City, the champion of Oceania, at the “Ibn Battuta” stadium in the city of “Tangiers”, in the preliminary round of the tournament, which will be held in Morocco during the period from 1 to 11 February.
The winner of the Al-Ahly and Auckland City match qualifies to face the American Seattle Sounders, the CONCACAF champion, in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Al-Ahly is participating in the 2023 FIFA World Cup, for the eighth time in its history, and for the third in a row, and the Red Genie participated in 7 previous versions in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2020 and 2021.
Al-Ahly’s best results in the Club World Cup were winning the bronze medal on 3 occasions, in 2006 in Japan, 2020 in Qatar, and 2021 in the UAE.
Al-Ahly participates in the Club World Cup as a representative of the African continent, despite its runner-up to Wydad in the African Champions League, but fate smiled at him by holding the championship in Morocco and with Wydad’s participation as the champion of the host country’s league.
Al-Ahly Club is the most participating Arab team in the FIFA Club World Cup throughout the history of the competition, and the Red Genie enters the 2023 edition in Morocco and set it on achieving a greater achievement than the last two editions, when it achieved third place.
Auckland City is one of the famous clubs for its many participations in the Club World Cup, and its best historical achievement was third place in the 2014 edition, which coincidentally was also held in Morocco.
The confrontation of Al-Ahly and Auckland City will not be new, as they had previously met in the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup, which was held in Japan. The match was also in the preliminary round, and at that time Al-Ahly, led by its historical coach Manuel Jose, succeeded in winning with two goals without a response.
Al-Ahly’s list witnessed the inclusion of all the basic elements of the team except for Ahmed Nabil “Koka” who suffers from injury, and the young player Raafat Khalil was absent from Al-Ahly, who joined the Egyptian youth team camp, in addition to the absence of the trio Akram Tawfiq, Karim Fouad and Mustafa Schubert due to injury, in addition to the exclusion of the newcomer Ahmed Qandoussi for his participation with the Algerian national team in the African Championship for locals.
Al-Ahly coach Marcel Kohler called on his players to win the match, because it is the most important match in the tournament, because winning it allows the red giant to continue his career in the World Cup. He netted 7 goals, and the Swiss coach is credited with winning his first title with Al-Ahly by winning the local Super Cup, in addition to his success in occupying the top of the Egyptian League without defeat.
The expected formation of Al-Ahly against Auckland City appears to consist of: “In the goalkeeper: Muhammad Al-Shennawi, in the defense line: Ali Maaloul, Muhammad Abdel-Moneim, Mahmoud Metwally, Muhammad Hani, and in the midfield: Amr Al-Souliya, Aliou Diang, Hamdi Fathy, and in the offensive line: Hussein Al-Shahat. Kahraba, Mohamed Sharif.
While the quartet Ayman Ashraf, Muhammad Al-Dawy, Bruno Savio and Shadi Hussein were excluded from Al-Ahly’s final list for technical reasons.
On the other hand, New Zealand coach Auckland City coach Albert Riera believes in his team’s ability to defeat Al-Ahly in the Club World Cup in Morocco, despite knowing that the Egyptian giants have not suffered any loss since the start of the current season.
The Oceania champion went through a training camp in Spain, in preparation for the tournament, during which he played 3 friendly matches, losing two against Rios Redis of Spain and Jeonuk Hyundai of South Korea (both with a score of 0-1), before he tied with the second team of Barcelona 1-1.
“We spent 10 days in the Spain camp, and we played 3 useful friendly matches for players who are not used to playing at this level,” said the Spanish coach, who took over the team’s training in December 2021. “It is important for them to know the requirements to compete in the Club World Cup, and I think we have achieved this goal.” .
And the 39-year-old concluded, “We know that we will face Al-Ahly, who has not suffered any defeat this season after 15 matches (in the Egyptian League). The players are aware of the size of the challenge we face, and we believe that we will achieve something positive (winning) today, Wednesday.”
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