Romarinho strike sends Al-Jazira into Club World Cup quarters

Germany celebrate with the World Cup trophy

Germany celebrate with the World Cup trophy

In a thrilling opener, which will set the tone for the rest of the tournament, host Al Jazira will take on veteran Auckland City.

Seven continental champions have qualified for the prestigious event that has become an important feature of the Federation Internationale de Football Association since its inception.

That year saw them narrowly beaten 2-1 by Argentine club San Lorenzo, who advanced to the final where they were then beaten by Real Madrid, as the Spanish giants secured their inaugural FIFA Club World Cup title.

15,000 football fans participated in the Mobile Roadshow over 200 days.

Al Jazira will play Asian champion Urawa Reds of Japan on Saturday. He will be satisfied with most elements of his team's display, but disappointed with the goal they conceded.

The other second-round match will be between CONCACAF champion Pachuca of Mexico and African champion Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.

They will play the Japanese side at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on December 9. "Our domestic league perhaps isn't at the same level as Al Jazira's but we've competed in other global tournaments (Nike Lunar New Year Cup) and beat teams like FC Seoul (1-0) so we are getting more confident in what we are doing regardless of the calibre of opponent in front of us", he said.

Bilen's injury will be closely monitored by Auckland City FC medical staff but he could be available should the Oceania champions advance in the competition which would pose a healthy selection dilemma for Tribulietx who has plenty to choose from in midfield with Albert Riera, Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi, Cam Howieson, Reid Drake and Fabrizio Tavano all capable of starting the match.

The high-voltage match, however, had a pedestrian start. But they have never created so many chances in a single match. Should they achieve that feat, they will join Barcelona as the most successful side in the history of the tournament with three victories. Previous year we lost in the last minute to Kashima Antlers who took Real Madrid into extra time so that says something about how well we prepare for this competition.

It was a shame, in what was an otherwise excellent display from the New Zealand side.

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