La Liga giants Real Madrid have congratulated Odion Ighalo and his Al-Hilal’s teammates for their first-ever qualification to the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.
Ighalo featured from the start before being replaced on 57 minutes, as Al-Hilal stunned Flamengo of Brazil 3-2 in the semi-final of this year’s edition in Morocco on Tuesday.
It is the first time a club from Saudi Arabia will qualify for the final of the competition.
And following Al-Hilal’s qualification, Madrid sent a message of congratulations to the team.
“Al Hilal, first Club World Cup finalists,” Madrid wrote on Twitter.
In Tuesday’s semi-final, Salem Al Dawsari’s perfectly placed spot-kick gave Al-Hilal the lead in the first minutes against Flamengo after Matheuzinho tripped Luciano Vietto inside the box.
Pedro equalised for Flamengo with a close-range strike in the 20th minute but Al-Hilal regained the lead just before half-time as Al Dawsari again converted from the spot, with Gerson sent off for a second booking after stomping on Vietto in the penalty area.
With Flamengo reduced to 10 men for the entire second half, Al-Hilal controlled the tempo and eventually scored the third, when Al Dawsari returned the favour to Vietto, putting the ball on a plate for the Argentinian to score with a point-blank strike.
Pedro’s close-range range effort in added time was too little to late for Flamengo, who became only the sixth Copa Libertadores champions not to advance to the final.
Al-Hilal will now face the winner of the second semi-final between Madrid and Al Ahly of Egypt which will take place on Wednesday.
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