• FIFA CWC 2018: Wydad and Al Ahly vie for Fifa Club World Cup spot

    (Gulf News) Alexandria: Moroccan champions Wydad Casablanca face Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the first leg of the Caf Champions League final at Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, on Saturday.

    The winner of the two-legged final (second leg in Casablanca, November 4) will play in the Fifa Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, December 6-16, where they will face Concacaf champions Pachuca of Mexico, in the quarter-final.

    A total of eight matches will be played in the Club World Cup between seven regional champions, including Real Madrid, all contesting for the ultimate club accolade.

    Having previously competed in the tournament five times in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2013, Al Ahly are no strangers to the Club World Cup. They finished in third in 2006, defeating Concacaf champions Club America 2-1 in the third-place play-off.

    Wydad Casablanca arrive at the Caf Champions League final with the hopes of qualifying for the Club World Cup for the first time in their history. Their city rivals, Raja Casablanca, became the first Moroccan and Arab team to reach a Club World Cup final in 2013.

    Wydad Casablanca’s incredible run to the Caf Champions League final saw them defeat last year’s Caf Champions League winners, Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-final and last year’s Algerian league winners, USM Alger in the semi-final.

    Al Ahly head into the final in high hopes, following a sensational semi-final win against Etoile du Sahel with an aggregate score of 7-4.

    Their second-leg 6-2 home win against the Tunisian side was the highest score recorded in a Caf Champions League semi-final. If victorious in the final, Al Ahly will become the most decorated Caf Champions League side in history, with nine titles to their name.

    Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal will take on Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final on November 18 in Riyadh.

    Four teams have qualified for the Club World Cup to date. They are; Spain’s Real Madrid, New Zealand’s Auckland City, Mexico’s Pachuca and the UAE’s Al Jazira.

    The winner of the Caf Champions League final will be the fifth qualifier for the tournament, with the remaining two teams — the AFC Champions League winner and the Copa Libertadores winner — set to be determined between November 25 and 29.

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