Asian Football - Guangzhou oust Ahly, Raja beat Monterrey to reach semis

Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande beat Egypt’s Al-Ahly 2-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Club World Cup in Agadir, Morocco.

Brazilian forward Elkeson and Argentine playmaker Dario Conca struck in the second half for the Chinese side coached by Italian World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi.

Eight times African champions Al Ahli appeared to suffer from their lack of domestic football, which has been suspended in Egypt since the Port Said stadium disaster last year.

Al Ahli playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the top African players of his generation and making possibly the last appearance of his career, missed an easy chance early on and was substituted at halftime after a low-key display.

The Egyptians, backed by several thousand fans chanting Arabic versions of Argentine football songs, were gifted an outstanding chance early in the game when Guangzhou goalkeeper Zeng Cheng kicked a clearance straight at Emad Moteab.

He chipped the ball into the middle of the area and Aboutrika, 35, somehow headed over from close range with the whole goal beckoning.

Guangzhou broke the deadlock four minutes after halftime when Muriqui's effort was cleared off the line by Ahmed Fathy, but Elkeson followed up to shoot into the roof of the net.

Muriqui, who could have extended Guangzhou's lead but flicked the ball wide after racing clear of the defence on to a chipped pass, was also involved in the second goal in the 67th minute.

This time he got in front of two defenders and saw his shot saved by Ekramy only for Conca to follow up and slot home.

Said Abdallah hit the bar with a long-range effort for the Egyptians but, apart from that, they never seriously threatened a comeback.

Guangzhou will now play European champions Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

In the day's other game, Raja Casablanca secured an extra-time win over Monterrey as they advanced into the semis.

Ivorian midfielder Kouko Guehi powered in a header from a corner in the 95th minute to earn the Moroccans victory after the game finished 1-1 the end of 90 minutes.

Raja will now play South American champions Atletico Mineiro, featuring former AC Milan and Barcelona forward Ronaldinho, in the last four in Marrakech on Wednesday.

Mineiro will hardly relish the prospect of facing Raja and their boisterous fans who created a pulsating and intimidating atmosphere for the whole two hours at the Agadir stadium.

Monterrey, taking part in the Club World Cup for the third time in a row, were left to contemplate another in the line of Mexican failures at the tournament.

Mexican sides have played at every edition since 2006 but, despite coming from one of the most lucrative leagues outside Europe, none have reached the final.

Raja made a confident start and Zakari El Hachami prodded wide after an incisive pass by Mouhssine Iajour.

They went ahead in the 24th minute when Monterrey goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco fumbled El Hachimi's cross from the right and Chermseddine Chtibi slipped home the rebound

The Mexicans levelled in the 53rd minute with a simple goal when Humberto Suazo floated over a free kick from the right and captain Jose Maria Basanta headed in at the far post.

Monterrey should have gone in front when Cesar Delgado lofted a pass over the Raja defence to send Neri Cardozo clear on goal, but his shot was saved by Askri.

Raja came back into the game and got the winner five minutes into extra time when Guehi rose above the Monterrey defence at a corner and powered a header into the roof of the net.