Al Hilal rue missed chances in Club World Cup - in pictures

Al Hilal rue missed chances in Club World Cup - in pictures
Al Hilal rue missed chances in Club World Cup - in pictures

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Al Hilal manager Razvan Lucescu was left to rue a series of spurned opportunities as his side missed out on a place in the Fifa Club World Cup final.

The Asian champions, contesting the continental competition for the first time, were defeated 3-1 by Brazil’s Flamengo in the semi-final in Doha on Tuesday night.

Hilal had actually taken a first-half lead, through winger Salem Al Dawsari, and were clearly in the ascendency against last month's Copa Libertadores winners, but they were pushed back after the interval and conceded three times.

The Saudi Arabian side were reduced to 10 men late on as well, when Andre Carrillo saw a straight red for kicking out at an opponent.

Despite the scoreline, Lucescu felt his team had done enough to put Flamengo to the sword, however he conceded they simply did not take their chances when on top.

“The performance of our team was fantastic and maybe we made a bigger difference in the first half and should have taken them,” he said. “In the second half, Flamengo scored in three situations - I don’t remember any other important opportunities for them.

“I’m very proud of my players. They showed a fantastic performance, especially in the first half. It was difficult coming in with some problems to [striker Bafetimbi] Gomis and other players, so overall we did well.”

Hilal will now battle for third place, when they take on either European champions Liverpool or Mexico’s Monterrey in Doha in the play-off for bronze on Saturday.

For that, Lucescu was quick to remind his team that all is not lost, as the Riyadh club look to conclude on a high what has still been a memorable tournament. Last weekend, they defeated African champions Esperance in the quarter-final.

“With my staff at the end of the game we were a little bit disappointed, but we need to motivate the players,” Lucescu said. “The chance to finish in the best possible position is an important one, and it is an opportunity to have a strong season.

“It is our will to continue this performance and learn from this experience from this tournament. Everything can bring something for football. It’s also my responsibility to bring the correct confidence and get to this tournament again.”

Updated: December 18, 2019 09:58 AM

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