Oceania Football Confederation > News > FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 > Auckland City confident ahead of World Cup opener

Auckland City confident ahead of World Cup opener

The Oceania club champions hold a slight edge over the hosts having competed at FIFA’s most prestigious club competition in 2006 while Al Ahli will be making their debut appearance. The UAE champions have also been hit hard by a string of recent injuries including a knock to Brazilian striker Jader Volnei Spindler (Bare).
However, as amateurs, Auckland City will still go in as underdogs facing a professional outfit who will be keen to impress in front of a home crowd.
Having researched Al Ahli, Paul Posa says his side will be aiming to become the first New Zealand side to get a result at the FIFA Club World Cup.
“They were champions of UAE last year but they’ve been struggling for form this year and from what we can see they’re not the same team as they were at the end of last season,” said Posa.
“But then I don’t want to talk them down because they’re going to be playing in front of a home crowd, they’re a professional team and they’ll know the conditions better than anybody. We certainly won’t underestimate them but we will go into the match with confidence and look to play our game and get a result.”
Al Ahli have been affected by injuries with skipper Mohammad Qasim and playmaker Saleem Khamis out of action at the start of the season. Both players have since recovered but last week the side’s key marksman Bare received a knock to his right ankle during a UAE Football League match and had to be substituted.
Speaking to Gulf News on Monday, coach Mahdi Ali said Bare is on the mend and is likely to be ready for the first match. Posa is well aware of the Brazilian’s talent.
“We expect them to play direct with most of their attacking play going through Bare so we will need to stop quality ball into him.”
The FIFA Club World Cup will be held in Abu Dhabi from 9-19 December with the champion clubs from all six continental confederations plus the host nation competing for a total prize pool of $16.5 million USD.
As Oceania’s representative, Auckland City will play Al Ahli at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in a qualifying play-off ahead of the World Cup proper. The side left New Zealand on 30 November to spend four days in Dubai before heading to Abu Dhabi.
For further information on the FIFA Club World Cup visit: www.fifa.com/clubworldcup/index.html
Al Ahli FC [UAE] vs. Auckland City FC [NZL]
Wednesday 9 December 2009
Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Local kick-off time: 20h00 [NZT: 05h00 Thursday 10 December]

Al Ahli FC: 1. Yosif ABDALLA [GK], 3. Saad SUROUR, 5. Mohammad QASSIM, 6. Kahled MOHAMMED, 7. Onaid KHALEIFA, 8. Ali ABBAS, 9. BARE, 10. Ahmed KHALIL, 12. Hosny ABD RABO, 14. Bader YAQOOT, 15. Ismail AL HAMMADI, 16. Hassan ALI, 20. Yousif JABER, 21. Mohammed FAWZI, 23. Mehrzad MADANCHI, 25. Abdulla AHMAD, 26. Salem KHAMIS, 29. Ali HUSSAIN, 30. Mohamed RASHID, 31. Waleed AHMED, 33. Saif YOUSUF [GK], 35. Abdulla ABDULRAHMAN, 50. ALSUWADI [GK]
Coach: Mahdi ALI
Auckland City FC: 1. Jacob SPOONLEY [GK], 3. Ian HOGG, 4. Sam CAMPBELL, 5. Matt WILLIAMS, 6. Ki-Hyung LEE, 7. James PRITCHETT, 8. Chad COOMBES, 9. Paul URLOVIC, 10. Grant YOUNG, 11. Daniel KOPRIVCIC, 12. Simon EADDY [GK], 13. Alex FENERIDIS, 14. Keryn JORDAN, 15. Ivan VICELICH, 16. Jason HAYNE, 17. Adam McGEORGE, 18. Paul GOTHARD [GK], 20. Greg UHLMANN, 21. Riki VAN STEEDEN, 22. Adam DICKINSON, 25. Milos NIKOLIC, 26. Daniel MORGAN
Coach: Paul POSA

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