With a 3-0 win over Auckland City on Tuesday, Karim Benzema’s Al Ittihad advanced from the first round of the Club World Cup.
Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad made quick work of New Zealand’s Auckland City, winners of the OFC Champions League, in front of a packed house in Jeddah.
Brazilians Romarinho, N’Golo Kante, and Benzema scored in the first half to advance their team to the second round, where they will meet Egyptian side Al Ahly on Friday.
On 29 minutes, a clearing fell invitingly onto Romarinho, whose hard strike deflected off an Auckland defender, leaving the ‘keeper stranded.
Kante hammered a right-footed volley into the back of the goal after a poor clearing from a corner five minutes later to increase Al Ittihad’s lead.
With 40 minutes remaining, five-time tournament winner Benzema tapped home following beautiful interplay down the right by Kante and Muhannad Al Shanqeeti.