Raphael Veiga and Dudu recorded a goal and an assist each as Palmeiras eased past Al Ahly 2-0 in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-finals at Al Nahyan Stadium.
After losing to Tigres UANL in last year’s semi-final before being beaten on penalties by Al Ahly in the third-place game, it will be a relief to Palmeiras to have reached the final.
Veiga opened the scoring six minutes before half-time, and turned provider for Dudu to double the Copa Libertadores’ champions lead early in the second half. Chelsea or Al-Hilal await Palmeiras.
Al Ahly were missing some key players, though started Egypt international Amr Al Soleya despite the midfielder playing an hour of the Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday.
He had two attempts during the first half but both came after Dudu had set Veiga away in the 39th minute, with the latter finishing well across Aly Lotfi.
Veiga returned the favour when he played in Dudu four minutes after the restart – the winger racing down the right before firing high into the net.
Another disappointed AFCON finalist, Hamdi Fathi, came on as part of a triple substitution following the second goal, and Al Ahly finally stepped up their intensity, having three times as many shots in the first 15 minutes of the second half (six) than they had in the entire first period.
Mohamed Sherif had the ball in the net in the 72nd minute when he followed up a shot that was spilled by Weverton, but it was disallowed for offside.
Salt was rubbed into Al Ahly wounds further with 10 minutes to go when VAR deemed Ayman Ashraf’s reckless challenge on Rony worthy of a red card.
ESTAMOS NA FINAL!
Com gols de Raphael Veiga e Dudu, vencemos o Al Ahly (EGY) e estamos na decisão do Mundial de Clubes! VAMOS JUNTOS PELO BI!
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