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Football

Soufiane Rahimi inspires Al Ain to continental victory

ASIA

Victory for the United Arab Emirates outfit in the AFC Champions League final has booked their place at the new global tournament in 2025.

  • Al Ain overturn first-leg deficit to win 6-3 on aggregate
  • Braces from Soufiane Rahimi & Kodjo Laba lead the way
  • Victory also secures spot at the FIFA Intercontinental Cup

Al Ain have become the fourth and final AFC team to book their place at the inaugural Mundial de Clubes FIFA™ (FIFA Club World Cup 2025™).

A dominant win for the United Arab Emirates outfit over Yokohama F. Marinos in the AFC Champions League final mean they will compete in the new-look 32-team FIFA Club World Cup in the United States next summer.

The continental triumph also means that Al Ain will now compete in the Coupe Intercontinentale de la FIFA 2024 (FIFA Intercontinental Cup 2024).

The FIFA Intercontinental Cup will feature the champions from each confederation’s premier club competition and concludes with a final in December 2024 at a neutral venue between the UEFA Champions League winners and the winners of an intercontinental play-off between clubs from the other confederations.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Japan, it took Al Ain just nine minutes to get back on terms. A lightning counter and a slick one-two between Yahia Nader and Rahimi saw the latter slide home from close range.

The hosts then went ahead on aggregate as Kaku converted a penalty on the half hour before Yan Matheus restored parity for F.Marinos with a well-taken effort in the 40th minute.

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