Asian Champions League holders Guangzhou Evergrande, of China, beat reigning African champions Al Ahly of Egypt 2-0 to advance to the semi-finals of the Club World Cup in Morocco.
Both goals for Marcello Lippi's cash-infused team came in the second half. The first was scored on 49 minutes by Brazilian midfielder Elkeson; the second with around 20 minutes left by Argentine forward Dario Conca.
Guangzhou Evergrande now advance to face mighty Bayern Munich of Germany—the UEFA Champions League holders—in the last four. That game will be played on December 17.
According to ahramonline's live coverage of Saturday's match, the opening exchanges between Guangzhou and Al Ahly were fairly balanced.
HT Guangzhou Evergrande 0-0 Al Ahly - Momentum swung both ways and plenty for Lippi to work on with his side making too many mistakes.— China football news (@china_football) December 14, 2013
The teams went into the break level, but it wasn't long into the second period before the game was delivered a goal. Fine work from Muriqui saw the midfielder through on goal and his shot cleared off the line by a defender.
The ball only went as far as Elkeson, who put his team 1-0 up from close range.
Guangzhou's second arrived on 69 minutes, and once again owed everything to the attacking inspiration of Muriqui. This time Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekrami was on hand to deny him; only for Conca to slot home the loose ball.
Ahly pushed for a goal to get them back into the game, and at times put the Guangzhou defence under intense pressure, but the breakthrough they needed never arrived.
It was the Chinese champions who advanced, led by their World Cup-winning coach Lippi—who coached Italy to triumph in 2010. Lippi now faces a duel with Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, whose German side will be strongly fancied to advance to the final.