In the first ever meeting between Guangzhou Evergrande FC and Al Ahly SC, the Chinese champions opened proceedings in the first minute when Brazilian striker Elkeson shot wide of goal by centimetres following a corner kick.
The Asian champions created their own problems in the fifth minute after a terribly errant pass by goalkeeper Cheng Zeng fell to the feet of Emad Meteab. The Al Ahly captain was able to cross to Mohamed Aboutrika, but the 35-year-old headed just over the crossbar to spare Zeng the embarrassment.
Marcelo Lippi's Guangzhou continued to press Al Ahly in the opening minutes of the first half, and Dario Conca nearly gave them a dream start, but his left-footed shot went narrowly wide.
The remainder of the first half was characterized by mistakes and sloppy play as neither team seemed to adapt to the pitch.
Al Ahly were hoping to rely on their experience in the competition. The Egyptian club have played the most matches at the FIFA Club World Cup (11) with Hossam Ashour and Aboutrika playing in all 11 of these matches.
The second half started out as lively as the first with the noise in Agadir Stadium turning up a notch as Raja Casablanca fans flocked into the stadium, adding to Al Ahly's support.
The AFC Champions League winners nearly made it 2-0 three minutes after the opener when Muriqui found space behind Al Ahly's backline only to shoot wide on Ekramy's goal.
The CAF Champions League winners almost responded with a goal ten minutes later when Rabia Ramy headed wide after a corner.
Five minutes later Guangzhou captain Zhi Zheng, formerly of Celtic and Charlton Athletic, sent Muriqui on goal with a clever through pass. The Brazilian's shot was saved by Ekramy, but fell to the feet of Dario Conca, who slotted the ball in from ten metres for a commanding 2-0 lead.
Al Ahly almost made their way back into the quarter-final in the 79th minute, but Abdalla Said's long-range effort crashed off the crossbar.
Both sides would have one last chance in the match. Guangzhou's Linpeng Zhang hit the outside post from an angled position inside the box, while Al Ahly's Said missed his shot wide.
Lippi's side held strong defensively to secure the 2-0 win as the referee blew his whistle for full time.
Guangzhou Evergrande will meet UEFA Champions League winners FC Bayern München in the semi-final back at Agadir Stadium on 17 December.