No River Plate showdown for Ayman Ben Mohamed as ES Tunis bow out of FIFA World Club Cup

Sun, Dec 16 2018

Ben Mohamed in action for Bohemians. Credit: Tom Beary (ETPhotos)

Ayman Ben Mohamed missed out on a dream match-up with River Plate as Espérance de Tunis were knocked out of the FIFA World Club Cup by Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

The former UCD, Longford Town and Bohemians winger played 90 minutes but his side were completely outclassed and trailed as early as the second minute.

Hosts Al Ain had come from three goals down to beat New Zealand’s Team Wellington in the previous round, prevailing 4-3 on spot-kicks after the game finished 3-3.

That Wellington side featured former Limerick playmaker and New Zealand international Henry Cameron as well as ex-Wexford Youths winger Eric Molloy, who came off the bench.

And they never looked likely to repeat Wellington’s mistake on Saturday evening, and were in control from the moment Mohamed Ahmed put them in from within two minutes.

Hussein Al Shahat doubled Al Ain’s advantage with 16 minutes on the clock, and Bandar Mohammed rounded off the victory with number three on the hour mark.

Al Ain will face River Plate in the semi-finals, while Kashima Antlers of Japan will face Real Madrid in the other semi.

Espérance will face Mexican side Guadalajara, who were beaten 3-2 by Kashima on Saturday, in the fifth-place play-off.