Al Hilal boss Răzvan Lucescu praised the work rate of his side in the first half following their 3-1 defeat to Flamengo to miss out on a place in the Club World Cup finals.
“I’m very proud of my players, they showed tonight a fantastic performance, especially in the first half. It was difficult coming in with some problems to Gomes and other players, so overall we did well.”
Al Hilal took the lead in the first half through an early Salem Al-Dawsari goal before Flamengo hit back with three-second strikes. The Romanian boss admitted his side should have taken their chances whilst on top.
“The performance of our team was fantastic and maybe we made a bigger difference in the first half and should have took them. In the second half, Flamengo scored in three situations, I don’t remember any other important opportunities for them.”
Lucescu guided Al Hilal to a first continental crown in twenty years, and he hopes this experience at the club World Cup will be a starting point for the side.
“It is our will to continue this performance and learn from this experience from this tournament. Everything can bring something for football. It’s also my responsibility to bring the correct confidence and get to this tournament again.”
Now Al Hilal will have to raise themselves for a third-place game against the loser of the Monterrey and Liverpool semifinal, for Lucescu he will be hoping his squad can cap off a memorable season at the Club World Cup.
“With my staff at the end of the game we were a little bit disappointed, but we need to motivate the players and the chance to finish in the best possible position is an important one, and it is an opportunity to have a strong season.”