Flamengo 2 x 3 Al Hilal
Flamengo loses in the semifinals to Al Hilal, saying goodbye to the much-dreamed bi-world championship.
After high expectation the Rubro-Negro arrived confidently for the Club World Cup in Morocco, however, it was defeated in the semifinals by the champion of the Asian Champions League.
In a very busy game, with refereeing controversies, the Saudi club reached the final of the Club World Cup, and will face Real Madrid. The final will be on Saturday at 4 pm (Brasília time). Shortly before, at 12:30 pm (Brasília time), Flamengo disputes the third place.
In the first minutes of the game, Vietto was knocked down by Matheuzinho in the area and the referee called a penalty. The Saudi playmaker, Salem Al-Dawsari, took the shot in the corner, with no chance for the opposing goalkeeper.
Gerson‘s catastrophic night began at 14 minutes. In a dangerous attack, after receiving contact from full-back Saud, the defensive midfielder threw himself and the referee understood it as a simulation, giving the yellow card. Which would cost Flamengo a lot in the course of the game.
Flamengo’s reaction came in the 20th minute, Matheuzinho passed to Pedro, who crossed over, on the plate to tie the match. The cariocas grew in the match and had some control until the end of the first stage.
In addition, VAR called the referee to check a possible penalty, once again in Vietto, committed by Gerson, who stepped on the heel of the Argentine. The arbitration confirmed the penalty and, to the dismay of the Flamengo’s nation, gave the midfielder a second yellow card, resulting in his expulsion.
In charge, Salem Al-Dawsari again, who charged with a lot of category displacing goalkeeper Santos.
At halftime, Vítor Pereira made two changes. He replaced Léo Pereira with Fabrício Bruno and removed Arrascaeta to place Pulgar, causing a lot of anger in the Red-Black crowd.
The first big opportunity of the final stage came from Marega’s great play. The Malian passed Matheuzinho easely, invaded the area, reached the bottom line and rolled towards Khalifah, who hit the crossbar.
In the 63rd minute, after Matheuzinho’s cross, Gabigol headed an unmarked header close to the small area, but over the goal.
Nervousness took over Flamengo, who missed many passes and provided several counterattacks for the Saudi team. With the tiredness of the team from Rio becoming more and more evident, due to being playing with one less player, Al Hilal started to dominate the match.
In the 69th minute, Pulgar lost the ball to Vietto, setting up another counterattack. Salem Al-Dawsari finds Vietto with a masterful pass, the Argentine hesitates to define, but when he finishes, he takes a powerful shot in the corner of Santos, who still touches the ball, but does not prevent Al Hilal’s third goal.
The Arab team controlled the actions of the game, exchanging many passes and without taking defensive risks. In the first of the promised six minutes of added time, the team from Rio scored their second goal. After Gabigol’s kick, the ball deflected off the opponent’s defense and remained clean for Pedro to push into the nets, scoring his second goal.
The Saudi club, which is playing in its third World Cup in four years, made history by being the second Asian team to reach the final of the tournament. Only Kashima Antlers had achieved such a feat in 2016.
Reunion between Flamengo and Al Hilal
At the 2019 World Cup, the teams also faced each other in the semifinals. In the game in question, Al Hilal started winning with a goal from Salem Al-Dawsari, executioner of this Tuesday’s game with two goals. In 2019, however, Flamengo turned the game around and won 3-1, facing Liverpool in the final.
Written by Henry Miller.