Al Ain victory tees up River Plate meeting
Al Ain made it two wins from two with a 3-0 victory against CAF Champions League winners Esperance in the second round of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018.
The UAE Pro-League champions followed up on their opening day shoot-out victory against Team Wellington by getting off to the perfect start at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, taking the lead after two minutes.
An early Rayan Yaslem corner was whipped into the danger zone where Mohamed Ahmad headed past goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia to open the scoring.
Al Ain then doubled their lead on 16 minutes. After hitting Esperance on the break, Yaslem played in a delightful ball to Hussein Elshahat on the edge of the D. The Egypt international then cut into the box, turned and fired past Ben Cherifia before wheeling away in celebration in front of the home support.
The host team made it three after the break when Yaslem fed the ball to Caio, who wriggled past the Esperance defence, and found Bandar Al Ahbabi waiting to tap in from close range.
The host side Al Ain will now face Copa Libertadores champions River Plate in the semi-finals on Tuesday 18 December at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain at 20:30 local time.
Alibaba Cloud Match Award winner: Hussein Elshahat (Al Ain)
Esperance 0-3 Al Ain (UAE 2018)
Bandar Al-Ahbabi of Al Ain celebrates
AL AIN, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 15: Bandar Al-Ahbabi of Al Ain celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 Second round match between ES Tunis v Al Ain at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by David Ramos - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Hussein El Shahat of Al Ain celebrates after scoring
AL AIN, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 15: Hussein El Shahat of Al Ain celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 Second round match between ES Tunis v Al Ain at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)