Al Sadd will be hoping to put on a much better show than they did against Hienghene Sport, when they take on Mexican side Monterrey in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar Saturday.
A victory at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium will give the Qatari champions a date with European winners Liverpool in the semi-finals. But for that, Sadd will have to clear the Monterrey hurdle, the CONCACAF Champions League winners.
Against New Caledonia’s Hienghene, Sadd struggled to impose them as the game was decided in extra time. They can’t afford to make the mistake against the South Americans, who are participating in the tournament for the fourth time.
Sadd head coach Xavi Hernandez said his team will go into the contest as underdogs, but promised his players will give their best. “We are lucky to be here in the quarter-finals of the Club World Cup, which is a historic match for the club,” Xavi said Friday.
“Our goal is to win tomorrow and reach the semi-finals. We are facing a tough team and I expect that it will be a very difficult match. There is no doubt that Monterrey are the favourites but in football anything can happen. We have nothing to lose and will play without any pressure and do our best,” the Spaniard added.
The former Spain and Barcelona midfield legend said Sadd are proud to represent Qatar in a global championship. “We are part of the country and to represent Qatar is an honour for us. It means a lot for the players. We win or lose, we want to show the best image of Qatar to the world,” Xavi said.
Meanwhile, in another quarter-final match at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium it will be a contest between champions of Asia and Africa as Al Hilal take on Esperance de Tunis. The winner of the contest will take on South America champions Flamengo in the semi-finals.
Hilal are newcomers in the FIFA Club World Club, while for Esperance this will be their third appearance in the competition.