Kashiwa Reysol's penalty loss to Al-Sadd at Japan 2011 deprived them of the perfect ending, while the Qatari side saw the win as a stepping stone towards greater footballing achievements. FIFA.com gauged the reaction.
Al-Sadd coach Jorge Fossati said the Qatar club will benefit from the experience of playing against European champions Barcelona and have now set their sights on beating Kashiwa Reysol and finishing third.
Al-Sadd left-back Nadir Belhadj has said that meeting Barcelona in the semi-finals at Japan 2011 is cause for celebration, telling FIFA.com the Qatari club will prepare as best they can for the Spanish giants.
Despite being dominated by Esperance for much of the match, Al-Sadd secured a hard-fought 2-1 win that guarantees a mouth-watering semi-final meeting with Barcelona.
Players and coaches from all sides have been uniting in praise of the FIFA Club World Cup hosts, who have responded in typically fashion to dreadul earthquake and tsunami of 11 March.
Defensive specialists Esperance take on an Al Sadd team boasting a formidable attack in an intriguing quarter-final, with the winners advancing to encounter Pep Guardiola’s star-studded cast.