Benzema’s goal leads the Saudi Arabian Clubs Championship quarter-finals

Karim Benzema scored to give Al Ittihad a 1-0 win over nine players from Tunisia’s Sfaxien and qualify for the quarter-finals of the Arab Club Championship on Sunday.

Al-Ittihad leads Group A with 6 points, two ahead of the Iraqi Police before facing them in the last round.

Sfaxien remained without a score in last place before facing local rivals Esperance, who drew with police earlier on Sunday.

The former Real Madrid striker took advantage of the quick reaction before being surrounded by the Tunisian defence to hit a ball into the goal in the 63rd minute.

For the second time in two matches, Sfaxien completed the confrontation with a numerical shortage after the expulsion of Hussein Ali 5 minutes before the break, and Moussa Conte for receiving the second warning in the 85th minute.

Sfaxien relied on the leadership of new coach Anis Djerbi – who took charge after the departure of Hossam Badri following the loss to the police – on counter-attacks.

French striker Karim Benzema found himself surrounded by 3 players when he received the ball each time.

The Union’s attempts were focused on Abderrazak Hamdallah, who shot a ball away from Sfaxien goalkeeper Mohamed Kaaloul in the 31st minute.

Sfaxien’s position worsened after an intervention on Tarek Hamed, who came out injured with a facial wound.

The referee initially issued a yellow card to the Sfaxien player, but changed his decision to an expulsion after the intervention of VAR.

Abdullah Al-Harthy, the doctor of the Union, said in statements during the break that Hamed was transferred to the hospital as a precautionary measure to ensure his safety.

Hamdallah missed another chance for Al-Ittihad, as he only put the ball with a header in the hands of Kaloul at the end of the first half.

Ittihad intensified their attempts after the break and the Sfaxien defense saved a ball from the goal line from Romarinho after a pass from Benzema.

Igor Coronado struck a wonderful shot from long range but Kaaloul narrowly kept it out in the 49th minute.

Benzema extracted from his vast arsenal of experience in Europe when he took advantage of the delay of the Sfaxien defense to surround him upon receiving a pass from Hamdallah to shoot the ball quickly and hit the post into the goal.

Joao Felipe passed a wonderful ball to Romarinho, who shot it to hit the far post and Sfaxien escaped another goal 10 minutes before the end.

Sfaxien received another blow by expelling Conte for receiving a second warning.

The Union almost paid the price for the mistake of goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe after his poor handling of a cross that could have settled in his net.

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