There is a sense of disbelief at Al Jazira as the United Arab Emirates title holders relish the prospect of a FIFA Club World Cup semi-final against Real Madrid in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. That's according to Manuel Almunia, the former Arsenal goalkeeper who is now working at Al Jazira as the club's goalkeeping coach. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale & Co. lie in wait for Al Jazira at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in what will be the biggest game in the history of club football in the UAE.
Marcelo and Zinedine Zidane were questioned in the press conference ahead of this FIFA Club World Cup semi-final about what they knew about opponents Al Jazira. Marcelo replied that he was aware they had a Brazilian by the name of Romarinho but if the captain and coach of Real Madrid had anything else up their sleeve they were not showing it.
Real Madrid supersub Gareth Bale admitted he was delighted to be back on the pitch after his goal secured a tense victory over Al Jazira on Wednesday. The Emirati side proved unexpectedly tough opposition for Madrid, who even went behind when Romarinho opened the scoring. Cristiano Ronaldo eventually made the breakthrough with a second-half equaliser before Bale jumped off the bench and scored with his first touch to secure a 2-1 victory.
Big double blow for Al Jazira here with them first messing up the counterattack goal through Boussoufa straying offside and now losing Ali Khaseif through injury. What a performance from the goalkeeper. Well deserved clean sheet.
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