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Sounders concede late in FIFA Club World Cup loss to Al Ahly


The Seattle Sounders fought valiantly in their FIFA Club World Cup debut in Morocco, but a late goal condemned the MLS side to an early exit from the competition.

Afsha’s deflected shot in the 88th minute proved to be the winning goal as Egyptian side Al Ahly defeated the Sounders 1-0 on Saturday. The Sounders were held to only two shots on goal in the loss, missing out on the opportunity to face UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid. in the semifinals.

The Sounders were on the front foot from the opening whistle, having many opportunities in the final third. Raul Ruidiaz, Albert Rusnak, and Nicolas Lodeiro all had offensive looks in the opening 20 minutes, but were unable to test Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenway.

Rusnak had a great offensive chance in the 31st minute on a Sounders counter attack, but sliced his shot wide off El-Shenway’s net.

Josh Atencio forced El-Shenway into his first save of the match in the 51st minute, testing his luck from long-range. El-Shenway easily gathered the midfielder’s shot.

Al Ahly was held in check for most of the match but Afsha’s long-range shot in the 88th minute would eventually lead to the winner. Afsha’s shot struck the crossbar but the rebound attempt nestled into the bottom-right corner after a deflection off a Sounders defender.

YĂ©imar GĂłmez’s last-gasp header was Seattle’s last chance at tying things up, but El-Shenway made the save.

The Sounders will continue their preseason camp before opening their 2023 MLS schedule on Feb. 26 against the Colorado Rapids.


  1. this is the problem with these tournaments for MLS clubs during this time of year, and it screams for MLS changing their season schedule otherwise clubs will be at a serious disadvantage to their opponents! Are we that pompous, or feel the need to be that different from most other leagues in the world?

    • I think the weather has a lot to do with. I don’t think the Scandinavian leagues can keep the same schedule as the rest of Europe.

  2. Sounders slowed down at about the 70’ minute. Al Ahly was under pressure and looked like the team in that’s in preseason and not the Sounders for majority of the game. Sounders defense was strong the 1st half. Disappointed the team, could not go thru, but it’s the 1st ever MLS team to participate. I always liked the Sounders colors just like the Seahawks colors. Did you hear the broadcast say the club purchased Sounders fan’s tickets if the fans paid their own way to Tangiers, Morocco? Seattle doesn’t have to be your fav MLS team to understand that the club appreciates its supporters! MLS has to win the Concacaf Champions League and try again!

  3. Not a Sounders fan, but this game was extremely frustrating to watch as Seattle did everything to try to not score. They had many chances to cross the ball into the box with guys waiting at the far post, but they would just send ball backwards or side ways waiting for a perfect through ball.

    Not sure if this was a coaching decision to hold off for penalties instead of winning during regular time. They could have crossed that ball and put Al Ahly under pressure and force them into making mistakes but it seems they didn’t want want to risk the chance of a counter attack due to fitness issues ?

    What a waste of a chance, because it seemed like Seattle could have won it if they put them under more pressure, and they didn’t bring on Heber and Montero until the last 10 minutes of the game.

  4. It seems a little uneven to play the games when some teams are in league and other not but I guess scheduling is probably difficult.

  5. Considering that Al Ahly is almost always a participant, is in the middle of their season, and had the big crowd advantage, I figured they would dominate and win 2-0. If there is such a thing as a moral victory, this would probably be it.

    • Seattle seemed very passive and were playing not to lose, certainly they were not the aggressors in this match. I think if they changed their tactics to open the game up and attack more directly by crossing and shooting the ball, they would have had a better chance than today’s game plan. The again, they’re in pre-season and probably did not want their lack of fitness to be exposed if the game went into an end to end sort of pace like the Scottish League.


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