Fluminense advanced to the final of the 2023 Club World Cup after defeating Al Ahly 2-0 this evening in Jeddah.
Jhon Arias and John Kennedy scored at King Abdullah Sports City to send the South American champions into the final against either Manchester City or Urawa Red Diamonds on Friday.
Arias scored from the penalty spot after Marcelo was brought down inside the area 19 minutes from time, and Kennedy added a second late on to seal his team’s progress.
Fluminense, and especially Arias, may have begun to fear that it would not be their night after the Colombian hit the crossbar twice in the first half.
However, it was third time lucky for him as he converted from the spot after Percy Tau brought down Marcelo in the box.
Tau had a glorious opportunity to make amends for conceding the penalty when he was picked out by Hussein El Shahat’s defensive-splitting long pass forward moments later, only to glance his header straight at Fabio in the Fluminense goal.
Soon after, the Brazilian goalkeeper was called upon again, this time to deny Taher Mohamed, before Mohamed El Shenawy kept his side in the game with a big save to deny German Cano when one on one.
Fluminense Fc vs Al- Ahly FC
Fluminense’s second goal came quickly, with Kennedy – who scored the game-winning goal as the Rio club won the Copa Libertadores for the first time last month – slotting a confident finish into the bottom corner from inside the area.
Only a smart El Shenawy save to deny Cano late on prevented Al Ahly from going even worse as they failed to make the competition’s final for the ninth time, extending their unwelcome record of appearing in nine Club World Cups but never reaching the final.
Fluminense, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to become the tournament’s first non-European champions since fellow Brazilian side Corinthians in 2012, and they will learn their opponents when Man City play Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday.