July 31, 2021

Fifa Club World Cup: ‘Exceptional experience’ gained from Al Ahly defeat – Al Duhail’s Benatia

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The Qatari top-flight champions were knocked out of the global competition by the African giants on Thursday

Former Morocco captain Medhi Benatia disclosed that Al Duhail have bagged valuable experience from their 1-0 defeat to Al Ahly in the second round of the Fifa Club World Cup.

Hussein El Shahat’s goal on the half hour-mark guided the Caf Champions League winners to the semi-final where they will face Bayern Munich on Monday.

Benatia played the duration of the encounter in Al Rayyan but his defensive efforts were not enough for the host club.

After admitting their lacklustre performance in the first 45 minutes, the former Juventus and Bayern Munich centre-back charged his teammates to maintain their second-half display when they battle Ulsan Hyundai in the fifth-place play-off.

“We gained exceptional experience from this match, although we did not succeed in achieving victory,” Benatia was quoted by the AFC website.

“We weren’t good in the first half, but better in the second half and showed our true level. It is difficult to lose this way because we made a mistake in the first goal, but we are now looking at the next match.

“We have to fight and show the same performance as we did in the second half. We need to have confidence and we need to respect the coach’s plan.”

Meanwhile, former Ivory Coast coach Sabri Lamouchi who is in charge of Al Duhail, echoed Benatia’s comments that the reigning Qatar Stars League champions lacked experience in the tournament.

“It was a great honour for me and the players to participate in the first match in this important tournament,” Lamouchi said.

“In such matches, the fine details are what makes the difference, but despite the loss, the team gained experience and we will try to change some things.

“Al Duhail lacked experience and we could have made the difference with experience, and we will work hard to achieve victory in our next match against Ulsan Hyundai.”