However, the keeper was powerless to stop Romarinho's wonderful long range drive and Henk ten Cate's side progressed from the playoff. If you're already overlooking this team... we could not even overlook Auckland, with all due respect.
"But we'll approach this game with humility as we always do because we want to do better than we have done in the past".
"We understand Al Jazira is a very good rival with a very talented team".
The Ramon Tribulietx coached side, who have been in irrepressible form in the ISPS Handa Premiership, continued that momentum on the big stage and were the dominant team at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain with 59 percent possession.
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"We did the same against Moghreb Tetouan in 2014 during a penalty shoot-out and it was the same".
"We already know against Urawa it's going to be a very different game, it's going to be even more hard".
But Al Jazira defended doggedly, while Auckland couldn't find that moment of real quality to make the difference.
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Real return to the competition with largely the same squad as a year ago, while Gremioof Brazil are making their debut at the event as newly crowned Copa Libertadores champions.
The goal that Al Jazira scored was a fine one, there is no doubt about that.
"That's the reality you know - Al-Jazira are used to these type of games".
City's best chance came in the 75th minute, when Howieson crossed the ball in from the left, putting it on a plate for de Vries, who slid in to meet it five metres from goal, but poked it straight at the keeper.
Auckland City will wonder what might have been.
They created a heap of chances - easily the most they have in any Club World Cup match in their history - but couldn't find the net. The fact we have taken some big teams to the limit in the past says a lot about how we prepare for this competition. While it was a beautifully hit shot by Romarinho - who has played more than 150 games for Corinthians - it was a lapse in concentration from Auckland City, who failed to track his run and left him free in a risky area.
Auckland City FC's match with Al Jazira will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 3 on Thursday 7 December from 5.48am NZST.