Duhail, Ulsan Hyundai keen to grab fifth place
February 06 2021 11:58 PM
Sabri Lamouchi watches as star player Almoez Ali
Al Duhail coach Sabri Lamouchi watches as star player Almoez Ali (Right) goes through his drills at a training session yesterday.

By Sports Reporter/Doha

AFC Champions League winners Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea and Qatar’s Al Duhail SC will be out to salvage some pride when they meet in the play-off for fifth place in the FIFA Club World Cup today. The match will be played at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium at 6pm.
Both Asian sides failed to advance beyond the second round, with Al Duhail going down 1-0 to African champions Al Ahly of Egypt and Ulsan Hyundai crashing out to a 2-1 defeat by Mexico’s Tigres UANL.
But their coaches made it clear that finishing fifth in a global club competition is still an honour both teams will grab with both hands.
“We started preparing for tomorrow’s match immediately after we lost to Al Ahly in the second round,” said Al Duhail coach Sabri Lamouchi.
“We will enter the match with the aim of winning the fifth place as it will be a major accolade for the team in their first appearance in the Club World Cup,” Lamouchi said at his pre-match press conference yesterday.
“Everyone is working hard to achieve the result we want and I am very confident that the players will enter the stadium with full concentration and determination,” the Frenchman added. 
Al Duhail player Sultan al-Brake also expressed confidence, saying a fifth-place finish would be good enough considering the circumstances.
“We still have a match in the championship and all the players are very determined to achieve a positive result and occupy the fifth place in the tournament,” the defender said.
In what is the first competitive meeting between the two sides, Al Duhail look more settled as the Qatar Stars League season is midway through while Ulsan Hyundai are preparing for the 2021 K League season.
Hong Myung-bo, appointed head coach after Ulsan Hyundai had lifted the AFC Champions League trophy for the second time, is also having to deal with a squad that has seen strikers Junior Negrao and Bjorn Johnsen leaving club while midfielder Lee Chung-yong and defender Hong Chul did not travel to Qatar as they are nursing injuries.
The defeat to Tigres UANL meant Ulsan Hyundai have yet to win a match at the FIFA Club World Cup, with their participation in the 2012 edition ending with two defeats as the Korean side finished sixth.
This may tempt Hong to make changes to the starting lineup although the Korea Republic legend said after the Tigres UANL tie that he was satisfied with the performance but rued conceding twice from set-pieces.

5th Place Playoff 
Ulsan Hyundai FC v Al Duhail SC
Kick-off: Today 6pm
Venue: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

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