Esperance to face Al Sadd at Club World Cup

African champion Esperance of Tunisia will face Asian champion

Al Sadd of Qatar in the quarterfinals of next month’s Club World

Cup, with the winner advancing to play Barcelona in the


The yet to be determined J-League champion was drawn Thursday to

face New Zealand’s Auckland City, the Oceania champion, in the

opening match. The winner plays Mexico’s Monterrey, winner of the

CONCACAF Champions League, in the quarterfinals.

European champion Barcelona, the 2009 winner, and South American

champion Santos of Brazil enter at the semifinals of the

tournament, which runs from Dec. 8-18.

J-League leader Kashiwa Reysol, reigning champion Nagoya Grampus

and Gamba Osaka are involved in a tight race to earn a berth as the

host nation’s club.