Al Sadd v ES Tunis: Xavi trusts his side to learn from Club World Cup mistakes

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Xavi trusts his Al Sadd side to learn from their mistakes and compete in the future as they attempt to finish their Club World Cup campaign on a high against ES Tunis.

The team representing host country Qatar missed out on a dream semi-final with European champions Liverpool after losing a thriller 3-2 to Monterrey last time out.

Leonel Vangioni and Rogelio Funes Mori goals left Al Sadd chasing the game and, although Baghdad Bounedjah halved the deficit, Carlos Rodriguez restored a two-goal lead to render Abdelkarim Hassan's late effort a mere consolation.

Al Sadd had laboured into that contest with an extra-time win over Hienghene Sport, leaving head coach Xavi to acknowledge his team have room to grow, even if he has been impressed by their attitude.

"The team made big mistakes that cost them the game, but we have to improve - it is part of the game and part of football," the Barcelona great told a news conference ahead of the play-off to determine who will finish fifth. 

"The pressure is on me as a coach, not the team. You cannot learn if you don't make mistakes and I trust them a lot.

"I am satisfied with the performance but not with the result. I am a winner and I want to win. I am pushing my players, but it is not easy.

"It's the best tournament in the world; we have to adjust in the future to progress."

ES Tunis find themselves out of the reckoning after Bafetimbi Gomis fired Al Hilal to a 1-0 victory and a semi-final with Flamengo.

After that game, ES Tunis coach Mouine Chaabani stated he felt the financial disparity between the teams had cost his side but praised his players for their collective showing.

And Xavi is expecting a difficult game, adding: "They are fighters, they are warriors, they have a good coach, a young coach. 

"It will be difficult to win the game but we will be at the same level."

Players to watch

Al Sadd – Akram Afif

While the main goalscoring threat is likely to once again come from Bounedjah, Akram Afif will hope to sign off in style. The forward was named AFC Player of the Year in 2019 and may just make a difference in what could be a tight match.

ES Tunis - Taha Yassine Khenissi

After only appearing as a substitute against Al Hilal, Taha Yassine Khenissi will be hoping to make a mark in Qatar. He has scored 47 league goals since the start of the 2015-16 season.