Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly finished third at the FIFA Club World Cup following a 3-2 penalty shoot-out win over Palmeiras on Thursday evening.
Mosimane went a with a strong line-up following the semi-final loss to Bayern Munich, but once change before kick-off saw Ali Maaloul removed for Yasser Ibrahim due to injury in the warm-up.
Amr El Soleya was presented a clear chance to put Ahly ahead before the half-hour mark following a howler by Felipe Melo, but he dragged wide from close-range.
Palmeiras soon gathered their own and brought goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy to work with a long-range strike by Patrick de Paula following a low pass from Luan Garcia.
The chances kept coming particularly for Ahly heading to the halftime interval, as Mohamed Magdy Afsha blazed a through ball from a tight angle by Hamdi Fathi into the side-netting.
Palmeiras emerged for the second half firing after Rony got on the end of a ball through the middle to go clear, but a goal-line clearance from Ibrahim saved Ahly’s blushes.
The Cairo Red Devils looked for more firepower up front in the middle of the second half and introduced Mohamed Sheriff for Afsha and Junior Oluwafemi in for Walter Bwalya.
Junior Ajayi looked to have given Ahly the lead a little before the closing period after helping in a volley from El Soleya, but it was disallowed for offside.
Mosimane’s side however nearly succumbed to a late strike from de Paula following a promising delivery by Gustavo Gomez, but he went wide thus directing the tie to a penalty shoot-out
Palmeiras missed three of their five kicks, while Ahly bagged three of theirs to win the shoot-out and claim third place since 2006.
Scroll through the gallery to see the best images of Al Ahly vs Bayern in the semi-final clash