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Al Jazira beat Auckland City in FIFA Club World Cup opener

07 December 2017

The first half got off to a slow start with Al Jazira surprisingly willing to give Auckland City more of the ball, and sit in a slightly deep variation of a 4-4-2, with Mbark Boussoufa playing just off the striker Ali Mabkhout.

It's hard to take for Auckland City, who have usually found a way to prevail in such contests in the past.

Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou and his countrymen Djibril Camara and Malick Samba have been appointed as match officials for the opening 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in UAE.

But despite their dominance throughout, they lost 1-0 to Al Jazira, the reigning United Arab Emirates champions, and their campaign has finished at the playoff stage for the third year in a row. They would have also fancied themselves to make another famous run in the competition, especially with a game under their belt at this level.

The second quarter final will be between African champions Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and North American champions Pachuca of Mexico.

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The participants were all given support throughout, including cognitive behavior therapy and were encouraged to exercise. Half of the patients were put on a low-calorie diet and lost an average of 10 to 15 kg (22 to 33 pounds).

The final will be played December 16 in Abu Dhabi.

"We are delighted to welcome seven continental champions to the UAE for what will be a marvellous celebration of football", commented Aref Hamed Al Awani, tournament director of the LOC. "Our domestic league perhaps isn't at the same level as Al Jazira's but we've competed in other worldwide 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. Auckland City were typically tidy in possession, and looked more and more threatening as the match went on.

The final matches at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium will be played on Dec.12, when they host the fifth place play-off that kick-starts at 17:00pm.

Real return to the competition with largely the same squad as a year ago, while Gremioof Brazil are making their debut at the event as newly crowned Copa Libertadores champions.

Al Jazira counterpart Henk ten Cate could sympathise with Tribulietx.

Al Jazira beat Auckland City in FIFA Club World Cup opener