The dreams of Auckland City FC have come to an end as they suffered a 3-0 defeat against Egyptian giants Al Ahly, in Morocco today. Despite their best efforts, the Navy Blues were unable to secure a victory against a team of Al Ahly’s caliber. The African powerhouse cruise past the New Zealand club to advance to the second round of the FIFA Club World Cup and now will face the United States’ Major League Soccer, Seattle Sounders Football Club.
Head coach Albert Riera had urged his players to seize the moment, but unfortunately, the outcome was not in their favour. Al Ahly, with their wealth of experience in big competitions and exceptional players, proved to be too strong for Auckland City FC.
Despite the big loss, Auckland City FC can hold their heads high as they gave it their all on the field. “Our players can take pride in the fact that they faced one of the strongest teams in African football and competed with determination and skill.”, said Riera in the end of the game.
While Auckland City FC may be disappointed with the outcome, they can take comfort in the fact that they played 10 editions of the FIFA Club World Cup.
Auckland City FC start line-up was: Conor Tracey, Nathan Lobo, Nikko Boxall, Adam Mitchell, Regont Murati, Gerard Garriga, Dylan Manickum, Cameron Howieson, Michael Den Heijer, Emiliano Tade and Ryan De Vries.
FIRST HALF – WELL PLAYED
It was a well played first half for Auckland City, playing with a 5-4-1 formation; the Navy Blues saw three good opportunities for Al Alhy and unlucky the Egyptians scored on the last minute before the break. The match was promising to be an exciting and closely contested affair, with both teams looking to make their mark on the game.
Auckland City FC started the game strong, having their first corner at the 18th minute with a shot from Howieson. However, they were unable to convert the opportunity into a goal.
Despite Al Ahly having more ball possession in the first 20 minutes, Auckland City put in a strong defensive effort, limiting the opportunities for their opponent.
In the 38th minute, Al Ahly had a good chance to score, but striker Sherif was unable to convert the opportunity. This was due in part to a strong defensive effort from Adam Mitchell of Auckland City. In the 42nd minute, Auckland City had a great chance to score with a shot from Argentinian Emiliano Tade.
Nearly at the end, El Shahat made the most of a well-worked opportunity, finding himself in a prime shooting position. His shot was a powerful one, and it sizzled past Auckland City’s goalkeeper, Conor Tracey, and into the back of the net.
SECOND HALF – THE TEAM GETS LOST
The expectation was the team to return with different mindset and look to score however it seemed the Navy Blues was lost in the second half. Al Ahly had much more goalscoring chances than the first half of the game. The second goal was scored by Mohamed Sherif on the 55th minute.
Al Ahly sealed their victory with a stunning goal by Percy Tau in the 85th minute. Tau’s right-footed shot from the center of the box found the bottom left corner, assisted by Kahraba. The goal was a beautiful one and marked the end of Auckland’s efforts to mount a comeback. With this goal, Al Ahly secured a comfortable 3-0 lead.
In the closing minutes of the match, the VAR was checked a possible penalty/red card offence conceded by Auckland City’s defender Adam Mitchell. The red card was confirmed to the central-back; however, it was determined that the foul was committed outside of the penalty area. Afsha attempted to take the free kick but the shot was blocked. Despite the late drama, the final result remained 3-0 in favour of Al Ahly.
One thought on “Auckland City FC succumbs against Egyptian giant and is out of FIFA Club World Cup 2022”
For me, Auckland City played bad….very bad. I had some other expectations from them. But Oceania football was decimated by this COVID period