TANGIER, Morocco ( Associated Press) — Saudi striker Al-Dawsari was on the scoreboard once again in a game that ended in an upset win for his team.
Al-Dawsari, who scored in his country’s 2-1 win over Argentina on their World Cup debut, converted two penalties as Al-Hilal beat Flamengo 2-1 in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup on Tuesday.
“I’m happy because my players are trying very well,” said Argentina coach Ramon Díaz, who celebrated on the bench with his coaching staff. “We have a great squad, very talented players who are very confident in themselves.”
Champions Saudi Arabia will face either Real Madrid or Egypt’s Al Ahly in Saturday’s final. This is the first time the club has reached this height.
The team said on Twitter, ‘This is Hilal for history.’ “Look where we are!”
Al-Hilal opened the scoring with a penalty through Al-Dawsari after four minutes, after being fouled by Luciano Vito.
But Flamengo quickly picked up the pace and equalized after 20 minutes when Pedro, also at the World Cup but with Brazil, scored with a cross shot that narrowly escaped the goalkeeper.
The Copa Libertadores champions continued to press, but a decision backed by video arbitration (VAR) vastly changed the course of the match in the first half.
Vietto fell once more in the area, and the refereeing body later determined that a contact from Gerson had brought him down. The Brazilian player received a second yellow and red card, while Al-Dawsari got the second goal for the Saudi team.
Flamengo coach Vitor Pereira, who took over in January, ordered Uruguayan midfielder Giorgio de Arrascaita off the field and ordered Chile’s Erik Pulgar to enter with more defensive business.
The strategy failed, and the Saudi team regained offensive power in Plugin.
Minutes after Al-Hilal hit Mengao’s crossbar, Vito added the third in the 74th, making it 3–1 with a short shot.
Pedro brought Flamengo close in the penalty shootout, but that was the Brazilian club’s last shot on goal.
Midfielder Everton Ribeiro said, “We couldn’t react.” “It will be a very difficult moment for us, a moment of criticism, but also a challenge that we will have to overcome.”
The two teams met at the same stage in 2019, with Flamengo winning 3–1 before losing 1–0 to Liverpool in the final.
The last time a non-European team won the Club World Cup was in 2012, when Corinthians of Brazil beat Chelsea 1–0 in Japan.