Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal stunned South American champions Flamengo to reach the Club World Cup final with a 3-2 victory last night thanks to two penalties from Salem Al Dawsari and a close-range strike from Luciano Vietto.
Al Dawsari’s perfectly placed spot-kick gave Al Hilal the lead in the first minutes of the match after Matheuzinho tripped Vietto inside the box.
Pedro equalised for Flamengo with a close-range strike in the 20th minute but Al Hilal regained the lead just before halftime as Al Dawsari again converted from the spot, with Gerson sent off for a second booking after stomping on Vietto in the penalty area.
With Flamengo reduced to 10 men for the entire second half, Al Hilal controlled the tempo and eventually scored the third, when Al Dawsari returned the favour to Vietto, putting the ball on a plate for the Argentinian to score with a point-blank strike.
Pedro’s close-range range effort in added time was too little to late for Flamengo, who became only the sixth Copa Libertadores champions not to advance to the final.
Al Hilal, the first Saudi side to reach the Club World Cup final, will face the winners of Real Madrid’s semi-final against Al Ahly tonight in Rabat.