Al-Ahly 0-1 Corinthians: Guerrero heads Timão into Club World Cup final
Corinthians have progressed to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup after Paulo Guerrero’s headed goal helped the Brazilian side claim a 1-0 win over Al-Ahly.
The Copa Libertadores champions, making their first appearance in the tournament since winning the inaugural edition 12 years ago, had a reported 20,000 fans inside the Toyota Stadium in Japan.
Corinthians were keen to impress their fans and managed to create the first shooting opportunity of the match when attacking midfielder Douglas flashed a half volley just wide from a difficult position.
Al-Ahly immediately went up the other end and threatened to break the deadlock themselves when Ramy Rabia headed goalwards from a fine Walid Soliman cross.
However, the Brazilian side’s first-half dominance finally paid off in the 30th minute when they went 1-0 up through José Paolo Guerrero.
The former Bayern Munich man headed Tite's men into the lead after connecting well with a great cross from the outside of Douglas' left boot.
The African champions, who were without injured captain Hossam Ghaly, were desperate to score after the break but struggled to create substantial chances.
Midfielder Ahmed Fathi wasted the best chance for the Egyptian club with a low shot into the side netting as the Corinthians defence looked increasingly uncomfortable.
However, Ahly were unable to find an equaliser and Corinthians held out to claim the narrow win.
The Timão could now meet Chelsea in Sunday’s showpiece final in Yokohama, should the Blues beat Mexican side Monterrey on Thursday.