Seattle Sounders succumbed to a late goal from Al Ahly as they crashed out of the Club World Cup at the Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier, Morocco on Saturday evening.

The Sounders had earlier scripted history when they beat Mexican side Pumas in the Concacaf Champions League final last May to qualify for the Club World Cup.

Sounders lacked competitive action

The Sounders hadn’t played a competitive match since their campaign ended in the MLS season in September, but dominated the game against the Egyptian side and would rue missing their opportunities.

Al Ahly on the other hand have been unbeaten in their domestic league this season and haven’t lost since last August.

Substitute Mohamed Afsha scored the game’s solitary goal in the 88th minute thanks to a deflection after his initial effort had struck against the crossbar.

The Sounders should have taken the lead in the 14th minute, but Nicolas Lodeiro dragged his volley well wide off goal.

Jordan Morris also had an opening but his tame header went harmlessly past the post as Al Ahly hardly created any chances of their own in the first half.

Soon after the restart, the Egyptians began to impose themselves on the game by building from the back and having the lion’s share of possession.

They came close twice to open the scoring on the night, but Sounders held firm despite showing signs of fatigue and heavy legs that led to gaps in defense.

Afsha had a golden opportunity to give his side the lead in the 69th minute but dragged his shot wide with only Stefan Frei to beat in the Sounders goal.

The MLS side had to soak up the pressure for the majority of the second half as chances came at a premium.

Al Ahly score the only goal

Afsha however redeemed himself minutes later. First, his looping effort hit the crossbar before the ball somehow found its way to the striker again who then took aim from distance.

The ball took a wicked deflection off Alex Roldan wrongfooting Frie before crawling its way in to give Al Ahly the victory on the night.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Sebastian Frej