Al Ain: Al Ain’s Mohammad Ahmad wants to break Al Jazira’s record for the furthest a UAE side has gone in the Fifa Club World Cup, after having already written himself into the history books as the competition’s fastest scorer.
The 29-year-old Emirati defender nodded The Boss in front from a corner after 79 seconds in a 3-0 win over ES Tunis in Saturday’s quarter. It broke the previous record for the fastest Club World Cup goal scored by 32 seconds.
Atletico Mineiro’s Diego Tardelli set the previous record when he scored after one minute 51 seconds against Guangzhou Evergrande in 2013.
79Seconds it took for Mohammad Ahmad to score first goal
Al Ain’s Hussain Al Shahat and Bandar Al Ahbabi added two more on 16 and 60 minutes to round off the victory. It sees The Boss equal Al Jazira’s record for the furthest a UAE side has been in the competition, qualifying a host side through to the semis for a second successive year.
They are a good team and we must respect them, but our coach will be able to put good players in this 11 for the next game.
Al Jazira famously lost 2-1 to Real Madrid in last year’s semi, after having led 1-0 at half-time before Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale responded in the second half.
It will now be up to Al Ain to prove they can go one better than their UAE rivals when they take on South American champions River Plate in Al Ain from 8.30pm on Tuesday.
“We can do more than Al Jazira, beat their record and qualify from the semis, because I know we have good players who are all in one heart,” said Ahmad after Saturday’s win, which followed last Wednesday’s 4-3 victory on penalties over Wellington in the play-off.
“We can beat any team and I hope to get the cup also. I know River Plate are dangerous and they like to fight for everything, but we will try to be calm like we were today.
“They are a good team and we must respect them, but our coach will be able to put good players in this 11 for the next game.
“We have some players injured who will come, and Mohammad Abdul Rahman who got a red card in the last game will also come back, so I think we will make a good game.
“Now we separate and forget everything and come back tomorrow for the next game. It will be tough because we’ve had a game every two days, going 120 minutes in the first match and 90 today, so it will be difficult, but we hope to beat Al Jazira’s record for sure.”
Of River, who will bring sizeable support in from Argentina, he said: “There were more ES Tunis fans than ours today but after we scored we made them quiet. We will hope to score in the first minute again to make River fans even more quiet. I hope God willing I will get another after one second.”
And about that record goal, he said: “I felt confident I was going to score today, so I jumped, headed, and thanks God I did.
“Whether it was a record or not it opened the game and enabled us to feel like we could score a second or third. Thanks God, we did a great job and I want to thank all the people in UAE, not just Al Ain fans, because they supported us. In the next game we will concentrate more to win, and if not I say thanks God we did everything we could. I hope no one can score before this time, because I don’t want anyone to beat my record.”