Bafetimbi Gomis sends Al Hilal into the Club World Cup semis | Frenchman scores only goal to defeat ES Tunis | Debutants will face South American champions Flamengo
Super-sub Bafetimbi Gomis sent FIFA Club World Cup debutants Al Hilal into the Qatar 2019 semi-finals as his goal saw off Esperance Sportive de Tunis.
A keenly-contested encounter between Asia and Africa’s top sides was settled when the French striker produced a sublime moment of skill and cool finish to silence a rocking Jassim bin Hamad.
The pair had been evenly matched from the outset in a frenetic and lively clash. ES Tunis’s Anice Badri was the first to come close, firing just wide, before Al Hilal ended the opening period the stronger as Andre Carrillo’s effort needed both Moez Ben Charifia and Mohamed Yakoubi to keep it out.
The Saudi side’s keeper Abd Allah Almuaiouf had to be on high alert when full-back Yasser Alshahrani almost scored a comical looping own goal – producing a clawing save that set them on the way to victory.
Having been benched as a precautionary measure, Gomis took just eight minutes to produce a magical winner. Rolling off the shoulder of the backline, he conjured a masterful flick to deceive the sliding defender before slotting into the bottom corner.
Mohammed Kanno saw red late on, but the win tees up a meeting with South American big guns Flamengo on Tuesday.
Alibaba Cloud Match Award winner: Andre Carrillo (Al Hilal)