Reds finish fifth

Cristiano's fine seventh-minute effort proved enough to secure Adelaide United fifth spot in the Club World Cup.

Cristiano's fine seventh-minute effort proved enough to secure Adelaide United fifth spot in the Club World Cup.

It was a goal deserving of winning the contest, but for Al Ahly it was a disappointing end to a tournament that has finished way below its expectations.

As the dominant force in Africa over recent seasons, the Egyptians were expecting to reach the semi-finals and even run LDU Quito close in the battle to reach Sunday's decider.

But their lack of a killer punch has been exposed and after surrendering a two-goal lead to Pachuca on Sunday they failed to force their way back into this contest too, after falling behind to Cristiano's early strike, despite dominating possession.

In contrast, the game in Australia continues to grow, with Adelaide's performances giving encouragement to the newly-expanded A-League.

With many of Australia's star names earning a living in Europe it will be gratifying that Adelaide has finished fifth, showing dramatic improvement in a single goal quarter-final loss to Gamba Osaka, who put five past them in last month's Asian Champions League Final.

They held Al Ahly fairly comfortably once Cristiano had put them in front in fine style.

Picking the ball up on Adelaide's left, the Brazilian embarked on a solo burst which took him within shooting range and he duly fired a superb effort past Amir Abdelhamid.

Indeed, the Australians might have had a second through Sasa Ognenovski but this time Abdelhamid made a fine save.

Al Ahly's best chance of an equaliser came eight minutes from time, only for Eugene Galekovic's flying stop to deny Mohammed Barakat.