Club World Cup begins with Moroccan hosts ousted by Auckland City

The New Zealand side advanced 4-3 on penalties on Wednesday night in Morcco over hosts Moghreb Tetouan in the opening match of the competition.

Auckland City of New Zealand are through to the quarter-finals of the Club World Cup in Morocco after beating local champions Moghreb Tetouan on penalties on Wednesday.

Appearing at their sixth Club World Cup, the champions of Oceania triumphed 4-3 on penalties after the match finished 0-0 in Rabat.

To the bitter disappointment of the 40,000 home fans, Mehdi Khallati hit the post with the Moroccan side’s final penalty to give Auckland a quarter-final tie in Rabat on Saturday against African champions ES Setif of Algeria.

The winners of that match will face San Lorenzo of Argentina, Copa Libertadores holders, in the semi-final next week.

In the other half of the draw, Mexico’s Cruz Azul meet Western Sydney Wanderers of Australia, the Asian champions, in the quarter-final on Saturday for the right to face Real Madrid in the last four.

However, Tetouan’s early exit threatens to have a huge impact on local interest in the competition, after Moroccans had hoped the hosting of the event would help make up for the country’s refusal to stage the Africa Cup of Nations early in the New Year due to fears over the spread of Ebola.

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Published: December 11, 2014 04:00 AM

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