Al Ittihad too slick for City

Words: ACFC Media

Friday 15 December 2023

Picture: Phototek

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Karim Benzema became the first player to score in four Fifa Club World Cups as Al-Ittihad opened the 2023 edition with a 3-0 win over Auckland City FC.

Benzema completed the scoring following goals by Romarinho and former Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante.

Saudi Pro League holders Al-Ittihad are representing the host nation and face African representatives Al Ahly in the second round.

European champions Manchester City enter the cup at the semi-final stage.

Al-Ittihad defeated New Zealand side Auckland City FC, who were representing Oceania at the tournament, with three goals in 11 first-half minutes.

Brazilian forward Romarinho opened the scoring in the 29th minute with a deflected effort before Kante doubled the lead five minutes later with a superb strike from a loose ball in the box.

Benzema then completed the scoring frenzy in the 40th minute to set up Friday's tie with Al Ahly of Egypt.

The winners will face Copa Libertadores champions Fluminense in the semi-finals. Premier League champions Manchester City are in the other half of the draw, and face Mexico's Leon or Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds on 19 December.

Benzema, 35, is appearing in his sixth Club World Cup having played in five with Real Madrid.

He has won every Club World Cup in which he has previously played, in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022.

The match ended a campaign that began for Auckland City FC back on January 3, 2023.

Ends

Match Result
FIFA Club World Cup Playoff
Wednesday 12 December 2023
Al Ittihad 3 (da SILVA 29', KANTE 34', BENZEMA 40')
Auckland City FC 0
HT: 3-0.

AC: 1. Conor TRACEY (GK), 2. Mario ILICH (22. Tong ZHOU 68'), 4. Christian GRAY (3. Adam MITCHELL 84'), 7. Cam HOWIESON (c), 8. Gerard GARRIGA (16. Joe LEE 56'), 10. Dylan MANICKUM (20. Emiliano TADE 67'), 12. Regont MURATI (9. Angus KILKOLLY 83'), 13. Nathan LOBO, 14. Jordan VALE, 19. Liam GILLION, 25. Michael DEN HEIJER.

SUBS NOT USED: 5. Timothy BOULET, 6. Adam BELL, 11. Ryan DE VRIES, 15. Aidan CAREY, 16. Joe LEE, 18. Sebastian CIGANDA (GK), 23. Alfie ROGERS, 24. Joe WALLIS (GK).

COACH: Albert RIERA
ASSISTANT COACH: Ivan VICELICH
GOALKEEPER COACH: Enaut ZUBIKARAI
FITNESS COACH: Adria CASALS
LOGISTICS MANAGER: Keith COTON
PHYSIO: Matt PAYNE

 

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