In a thrilling Club World Cup quarter-final clash, Urawa Red Diamonds secured a spot in the semi-finals by defeating Leon 1-0 on Friday in Jeddah. The decisive goal came in the 78th minute when substitute Alex Schalk capitalized on a precise pass from Jose Kante. Having been on the field for just five minutes, Schalk expertly controlled the ball with his left foot before unleashing a right-footed shot past the charging goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota.
Leon’s hopes of a comeback suffered a major setback six minutes later when their captain, William Tesillo, received a second yellow card, reducing the CONCACAF Champions Cup winners to 10 men. Notably, this marked Leon’s inaugural appearance in the Club World Cup, while Urawa Red Diamonds, the reigning Asian champions, previously claimed third place in the 2007 edition and participated in 2017.
The stage is now set for an exciting semi-final showdown between Urawa Red Diamonds and Europe’s powerhouse, Manchester City, scheduled for Tuesday. Meanwhile, the other semi-final on Monday will feature Copa Libertadores champions Fluminense against the winner of the match between Al Ahly of Egypt and Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad, who are set to compete later on Friday.
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