Big ask for serial hopefuls Al-Ahly
© AFP

Japanese champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima meet African Champions League holders Al-Ahly SC at Toyota Stadium in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012. The winners progress to a semi-final meeting with Copa Libertadores holders Corinthians.

The match
Sanfrecce Hiroshima-Al Ahly, Toyota Stadium
Sunday 9 December 2012, 19.30 (local time)

The stakes
Hiroshima are on a high in the build-up to the match. Coach Hajime Moriyasu’s team, contesting the FIFA Club World Cup by virtue of a maiden Japanese championship triumph, made a perfect start to the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Auckland City. Toshihiro Aoyama’s match-winning strike was also the 200th goal in the history of the tournament.

Al-Ahly qualified for Japan 2012 as winners of the CAF Champions League, and are aiming for FIFA Club World Cup glory for the fourth time, making the Egyptians and Auckland City the most frequent contenders in tournament history. The Cairo club’s best finish to date was third place at the 2006 edition. Their hopes of going even further this year rest largely on the shoulders of striker Gedo, scorer of five precious goals on route to winning the elite African club competition.

The stat
7
- This year's CAF Champions League triumph was Al-Ahly's seventh in total, to go with previous successes in 1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2008. The club from the Egyptian capital is the most successful in Africa's leading club competition.

The words
"Al-Ahly have a number of quick and physically robust players, but we intend to play our usual game on the day. We'll be well organised, always on the move, and we’ll let the ball do the work," Sanfrecce Hiroshima midfielder Yojiro Takahagi

"If we play our football and maintain the approach we took to the Champions League final against Esperance, we could get somewhere. The fans are very hopeful we could be even more successful than 2006. It's a tough tournament, but we're 100 per cent ready for the Club World Cup," Al-Ahly board director Khaled Mortagy