Oceania champion Sydney FC beat African champion Al Ahly 2-1 to avoid the wooden spoon in the fifth-place playoff of the Club World Championship on Friday at Tokyo’s National Stadium.
Japan legend Kazuyoshi Miura put in a full 90 minutes, but was unable to give his fans among the 15,951 in attendance the goal they so desperately wanted in his last game for Sydney before he returns to Yokohama FC.
Sydney’s David Carney scored the winner on 66 minutes after Emad Motab had scored an Ahly equalizer. Sasho Petrovski released Carney with a clever ball, and the midfielder kept his composure to fire past Nader El Sayed in the Ahly goal.
Manchester United treble-winner Dwight Yorke had put the Sydneysiders ahead on 35 minutes, meeting ex-Sanfrecce Hiroshima man Steve Corica’s free-kick from the right with a towering header that gave El Sayed no chance.
“I’m proud for the players tonight, it was a tremendous result for all for us,” goal scorer Yorke said. “It would have been a massive disappointment for us if we had come away from here losing the two games.”
Sydney lost to Central American champion Deportivo Saprissa 1-0 while Egyptians Al Ahly went down by the same scoreline against Asian champion Al Ittihad in the opening round of the tournament.
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