Al Ain: Nine-man ES Tunis beat Guadalajara 6-5 on penalties to win the Fifa Club World Cup fifth-place play-off at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Tuesday.
A back-and-forth shoot-out went to sudden death with Isaac Brizuela hitting over before Chamseddine Dhaouadi snatched the winner, it followed a 1-1 draw in normal time before the game went straight to kicks, with no extra-time, due to the semi-final between Al Ain and River Plate kicking off soon after.
Ironically, the first half was a tale of penalties too — both VAR ones at that — with Guadalajara going ahead from the spot through Walter Sandoval on five minutes after Sameh Derbali brought down Angel Zaldivar.
Much like their defeat to Kashima Antlers in Saturday’s quarter-final however, the Mexicans couldn’t hold on to their early lead.
Franck Kom had already shot wide and high from distance for ES Tunis, but his third effort in from a corner hit the hand of Jose Van Rankin to set up a spot-kick for Mohammad Belaili to convert on 38 minutes.
Both decisions on blatant infringements took an age to decide and led to an unfathomable six minutes of first-half stoppage time.
Zaldivar’s curling shot saved by ES Tunis keeper Rami Jeridi was the first thing of note in the second half and that came just 17 minutes from time.
A shoving match between Guadalajara’s Isaac Brizuela and ES Tunis’ Anice Badri at least provided some entertainment soon after, but it resulted in yellows for the pair, leading to a red for Badri, who had already been booked.
It was a disappointing end to the tournament for Badri, who had been tipped as one of the ones to watch coming into the event following his appearances for Tunisia at this summer’s World Cup.
With Tunis down to 10 men, Guadalajara pushed in the final minutes, Jeridi first saved a long shot from Michael Perez and then parried the follow-up by Miguel Ponce. Hedgardo Marin’s shot also sailed just over in stoppage time.
Guadalajara interestingly switched keepers with penalties looming with Raul Gudino coming off for Miguel Jimenez toward the end, but not before Houcine Rebai got a straight red for his challenge on Brizuela just before the close of normal time.
From the spot Angel Zaldivar scored and Belaili missed to instantly put Tunis on the back foot. But Marin then shot over and Ali Manchani scored to level things. Jesus Godinez and Khelil Chammam both kept it level before both Jose Carlos van Rankin and Saad Bguir missed. Penalties then went in for Carlos Salcido, Taha Khenisi, Orbelin Pineda, Sameh Derbali, Miguel Ponce and Fousseny Coulibaly in that order, but Brizuela missed to set up Dhaouadi for the decider.