Doha, 7 February 2021 - Ulsan Hyundai FC and Al Duhail SC will be aiming to end their FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 campaign on a high when the two Asian sides meet in the play-off for fifth place at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Sunday.
Both suffered narrow defeats in their respective second round ties with 2020 AFC Champions League winners Ulsan Hyundai edged 2-1 by Mexico’s Tigres UANL while reigning Qatar Stars League champions Al Duhail were defeated 1-0 by Egypt’s Al Ahly SC.
Despite their respective defeats, Ulsan Hyundai head coach Hong Myung-bo and his Al Duhail counterpart Sabri Lamouchi were generally satisfied with the performances of their sides and both will be expecting more on Sunday.
“We will work hard to achieve victory in our next match against Ulsan Hyundai,” he said.
In what is the first competitive meeting between the two sides, Al Duhail look the more settled as the Qatar Stars League season is midway through while Ulsan Hyundai are preparing for the 2021 K League season.
Hong, 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.
Al Duhail, meanwhile, showed improvement in the second half after a slow first 45 minutes and Lamouchi will be counting on his players to maintain that form against Ulsan Hyundai.
The Al Duhail players admitted they were disappointed with their first half performance against Al Ahly, with star striker Almoez Ali saying his team had given African champions Al Ahly too much respect.
With both sides aiming to finish on a high, the stage is set for an exciting clash between the two Asian sides.
5th Place Playoff: Ulsan Hyundai FC v Al Duhail SC (6pm at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium)