African champions Esperance go out of Club World Cup
African champions Esperance have been knocked-out of the Club World Cup after a 2-1 defeat by Al Sadd of Qatar.
The match, in Toyota in Japan, ended in controversy when an Esperance fan ran on to the pitch and others threw objects from the stands.
They were angry that the Tunisians had had two "goals" ruled out for offside, although both decisions appeared correct on television replays.
Al Sadd now go forward to play European champions Barcelona in the semi-finals.
In the day's other game, Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol needed penalties to beat Mexico's Monterrey after their game had finished 1-1.
Kashiwa will meet Santos of Brazil in the second semi.
Esperance should have taken the lead early in the match after some brilliant work by Youssef Msakni, who created two great chances for his team.
First he fed Cameroonian striker Yannick Ndjeng, who's low shot cannoned back of the post into the arms of the keeper.
Then Msakni's own superb run ended in another save by Mohamed Saqr.
But after dominating the opening, Esperance were thrust onto the back foot when they went behind.
Ivory Coast's Kader Keita helped create Al Sadd's opener with a powerful run down the right, which ended with Khlafan Al Khalfan heading home in the 33rd minute.
Shortly after the break, Al Sadd's Abdulla Koni doubled their lead from close range.
Esperance, who only qualified for the tournament a month ago, when they won the 2011 African Champions League, bounced back into the match.
Captain Oussama Darragi headed home to bring them back into contention with an hour played - although he was substituted 10 minutes later.
In the frantic climax, Esperance had the ball in the net twice, but each time the "goal" - from Ndjeng and Khaled Ayari - was over-ruled by the referee for offside, prompting fury from players and fans alike.
One Esperance fan broke through security and ran towards the Al Sadd goalkeeper at the end of the game and there was some trouble in other parts of the ground as well.
Al Sadd's next opponents, Barcelona, warmed up for their appearance with a morale-boosting 3-1 win over their great rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish league on Saturday evening.
Esperance stay in Japan for a 5th/6th place play-off match against Monterrey on Thursday.