Thursday 03 February 2022, 18:45

Wonder goals help Al Jazira cruise through

  • Al Jazira thrashed AS Pirae in the UAE 2021 opener

  • It equalled the biggest-ever win in the opening match of a FIFA Club World Cup

  • Al Jazira will now face Al Hilal for the right to play Chelsea in the semi-finals

Al Jazira 4-1 AS Pirae

Goals: Al Ameri (5 mins), Al Hashmi (25), Kosanovic (41), Rabii own-goal (48), Diaby (63).

Alibaba Cloud Match Award: Mohamed Jamal.

Momahed Jamal of Al Jazira Club poses with the Alibaba Cloud Match Award


Goal of the tournament? Two left-footed curlers have laid down markers for the rest to beat. First, from the edge of the box, Kosanovic arrowed a free-kick around the wall and into the bottom corner. Then, from the right, Diaby’s sublime strike found the inside of the netting.

Ten memorable minutes Pirae were 3-0 down at half-time and it could have been worse. After some words of inspiration from coach Naea Bennet, however, they came out fighting. The Tahitians produced some intricate passing to pressure their opponents into scoring an own-goal. Tehotu Gitton then fired a free-kick on target, before Heimano Bourebare sizzled with some delightful footwork as the amateurs admirably had their fully professional adversaries on the ropes for a period.

AS Pirae players at the end of the UAE 2021 opener (030222)


8 Kosanovic has now incredibly scored eight free-kicks in the last 18 months. The 31-year-old centre-back’s only other goal during the period was a header. 3 Al Jazira registered the joint-biggest victory in the opening match of a FIFA Club World Cup. Al Wahda beat Hekari United 3-0 in the 2010 curtain-raiser.


"Pirae showed a good level and defended well, but our early goal gave us the platform to score more and control the pace of the match. We think about each match separately and focus on what is in front of us only. We will give everything we have against Al Hilal." Mohamed Jamal

Did you know?

Pirae players Heirauarii Salem, Roonui Tinirauarii and Avearii Bennett are cousins.

Up next

Al Ahly-Monterrey Saturday, 8:30pm local time Al Hilal-Al Jazira Sunday, 8:30pm local time

Further reading