CAF Champions Esperance comprehensively sealed a fifth-place finish at the Club World Cup following a 5-2 victory over host side Al Sadd on Tuesday evening. Libyan winger Hamdou Elhounis bagged a hat-trick, in a game which saw Al Sadd reduced to ten men midway through the first half.
Esperance made a dream start as Hamdou Elhounis showed off a slick beat of skill to beat Boualem Khoukhi and smash the ball into the bottom corner past Meshaal Barsham.
Seven minutes later and the CAF Champions duly doubled their lead, pouncing on an errant back pass from Tarek Salman. Elhounis surged forward and squared to Anice Badri who was left with the easiest of finishes to make it 2-0.
The third goal for the Tunisians effectively ended the contest. Sadd wing-back Abdulkarim Hassan was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball in the box. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and sent the Wolves number three off. Ending any hopes of getting a result from the game.
Still, Al Sadd did grab a foothold in the game on the thirty-second minute. Akram Afif was cynically tripped in the penalty ahead leaving the referee little choice but to award a spot-kick. Bagdad Boundjah stepped up to score his second goal of the tournament.
Esperance was not yet done yet and scored a fourth in the final moments of the first half. Hamdou Elhounis again surged down the left-wing. A lucky rebound from Hamed Ismael fell to the Libyan attacker who made no mistake from a tight angle. Esperance had a 4-1 lead heading into half-time.
Two minutes after the restart, Al Sadd won a second penalty, this time Hassan Al-Haydos stepped up and the Qatari international rifled the ball past Moez Ben Cherifia.
Al Sadd threatened in the second half, but never quite got to grips with the numerical disadvantage.
It was only a matter of time before the Tunisians would strike, and Hamdou Elhounis picked up a hat-trick, turning in Ilyes Chetti’s drilled cross.
Sameh Derbali drilled home his sides sixth goal of the contest with moments left in the game to leave the Esperance fans in raptures.