Doha, Qatar – South American champions Flamengo recovered from a deficit to reach their first FIFA Club World Cup final, defeating Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal 3-1 in a pulsating match in Doha’s capital, Qatar.
Midfielder Salem al-Dawsari gave Al Hilal the lead in the 18th minute, before Girogian de Arrascaeta levelled for the Brazilian club four minutes into the second half at the Khalifa International Stadium.
A 78th-minute header by forward Bruno Henrique put the Rio team ahead, before another strike by him forced an Al Hilal own goal four minutes later.
Tuesday’s semifinal was attended by 21,588 spectators, with FIFA President Gianni Infantino also in the stadium.
Flamengo now await the winners of Wednesday’s other semi-final between European champions and English Premier leaders Liverpool and Mexico’s Monterrey.
“This is a big moment for us. It’s a historic moment,” Flamengo midfielder Diego told Al Jazeera after the match.
“We worked a lot for that and we are ready to make a good game on Saturday,” the 34-year-old Brazilian player said.
“It would be a tough game like always, a final is like that, but we will prepare ourselves to reach our target.”
Earlier on Tuesday, there was disappointment for home fans as Qatari club Al Sadd suffered a 2-6 defeat to Tunisia’s Esperance Sportive de Tunis in the fifth-place playoff.
The FIFA Club World Cup is an annual tournament that features the winners of the continental confederations as well as the host’s league champions.
This is the first time Qatar is hosting the tournament as it prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With reporting by Saba Aziz