Hamdou Elhouni’s hat-trick seals ES Tunis victory | Six-goal haul sees them equal best-ever finish | Eight total goals equal most in a Club World Cup game
Esperance Sportive de Tunis ended their FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 on a high, coming out on top in a 6-2 record-equalling goalfest with Al Sadd.
Hamdou Elhouni’s hat-trick heroics, alongside Anice Badri’s brace, saw the African champions equal their tournament-best placing of fifth, which they achieved last year. It also earned them revenge for their first ever Club World Cup loss, having fallen to the Qataris in 2011.
It took less than two minutes for Al Sadd’s Abdel Karim Hassan to clear an effort of the line, but ES Tunis were still ahead by six minutes. Great feet from Elhouni crafted enough space to pick out the far corner.
Things escalated further after 13 minutes, with Tarek Salman’s calamitous backpass leading to Badri tapping into an open net. Midway through the opening period Hassan couldn't duplicate his early heroics; he blocked Badri’s goal-bound effort with his hand to see red, and the Tunisian international tucked away the penalty.
Even down to ten, Al Sadd weren’t out of it, as they sunk two penalties of their own – Baghdad Bounedjah getting this third goal of the tournament, with Hassan Al Haydos adding another early in the second half.
However, Elhouni’s near-post strike just before the break had left a comeback unlikely, before he completed a memorable night, tapping in at the far post to complete his treble.
Sameh Derbali smashed in the icing on cake, with eight goals equalling those shared between Manchester United and Gamba Osaka, 5-3, in 2008.
Alibaba Cloud Match Award Winner: Hamdou Elhouni