Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal reached the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final on penalties against Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca ©Getty Images

Saudi Arabia's Al-Hilal and Egyptian outfit Al Ahly clinched semi-final places at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco in dramatic fashion.

Wydad Casablanca, the Moroccan champions of Africa, looked on course for the last four when Moroccan player Ayoub El Amloud headed home via the crossbar on 52 minutes at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.

However, Moroccan international Yahia Attiyat Allah was penalised for a handball in the penalty area in injury time, with Yahya Jabrane - another member of the Morocco squad who reached the FIFA World Cup semi-finals - receiving a second yellow card for his protests.

Saudi international Mohamed Kanno dispatched the penalty to break the hearts of most of the 43,891 gathered in the Moroccan capital.

Kanno was sent off for Al-Hilal in extra time for a second bookable offence, but there were no further goals which sent the match to penalties.

Attiyat Allah struck both posts with his first spot-kick for Wydad Casablanca but the ball stayed out, and Al-Hilal converted all five of their efforts to clinch a 5-3 victory, with Saudi international Musab Al-Juwayr scoring the decisive penalty.

Al-Hilal, the reigning Asian champions selected to represent the continent because the 2022 Asian Football Confederation Champions League has not finished, are set to face Brazilian side Flamengo in the semi-finals on Tuesday (February 7).

Flamengo won the Copa Libertadores for the second time in four years in 2022, and famously won the former Intercontinental Cup against English giants Liverpool in 1981.

The other semi-final was between Seattle Sounders and Al Ahly.

Seattle Sounders became the first team from the United States to compete in the Club World Cup after winning last year's Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football Champions League.

However, they had not played a competitive match since October, with the Major League Soccer 2023 campaign not due to begin until February 25.

The Sounders had recorded the match's only shot on target until the 88th minute at the Ibn Batouta Stadium in Tangier, when substitute Mohamed Afsha, an Egyptian international, struck with an effort that deflected off Salvadoran Alex Roldán.

Egyptian Mohamed Afsha struck with two minutes remaining to help Al Ahly reach their third consecutive FIFA Club World Cup semi-final ©Getty Images
Egyptian Mohamed Afsha struck with two minutes remaining to help Al Ahly reach their third consecutive FIFA Club World Cup semi-final ©Getty Images

The result sent the Confederation of African Football Champions League runners-up, who qualified because African champions Wydad Casablanca took the berth reserved for the host nation, into the semi-finals for the third consecutive year.

They are set to face powerhouses Real Madrid from Spain in the semi-finals on Wednesday (February 8), Los Blancos having been crowned European champions for a record-extending 14th time last year.

Real Madrid are the favourites for the tournament, and have won the FIFA Club World Cup a record four times with successes in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.