Fifa Club World Cup: African champions Esperance lose 3-0 to Al Ain

Anice Badri of Esperance
Anice Badri of African champions Esperance following their 3-0 defeat to Al Ain at the Fifa Club World Cup

African champions Esperance of Tunisia were left stunned by home side Al Ain FC on Saturday, losing 3-0 in the last eight of the 2018 Fifa Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Al Ain, who narrowly got through the last round to qualify for a place against Esperance, will now face recent Copa Libertadores champions River Plate in the semi-finals.

The hosts fought from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Team Wellington before winning on penalties to book their quarter-final spot.

But they avoided making the same mistake against the African champions on Saturday, as Mohamed Ahmed opened the scoring just two minutes into the match.

Hussein El Shahat doubled their lead after 16 minutes and Bandar Mohammed's strike on the hour mark capped a 3-0 win that will give Argentine opponents River Plate food for thought ahead of their semi-final clash on Tuesday.

Esperance controlled possession for most of the game but struggled to take advantage, managing just one shot on target in 18 attempts.

The Tunisian side's coach Moeen Chaabani said he was disappointed with his team's performance, telling reporters they had lost their focus after the first goal.

"All the players were thinking individually, not collectively," he said.

"I congratulate Al Ain on a deserved victory and we still have a lot of work to do - this is football," Chaabani added.

Real Madrid will face Kashima Antlers in the other semi-final after the Asian champions beat Mexican side CD Guadalajara 3-2.

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