Football

Real book Club World Cup final date with Kashima

CLUB WORLD CUP SEMI-FINAL
REAL MADRID CLUB AMERICA
2 0
(Karim Benzema 45+2, Cristiano Ronaldo 90+3)  

Real Madrid booked their place in the Club World Cup final by beating Club America 2-0 yesterday, although Fifa's new video technology was again the talking point after confusion reigned following Cristiano Ronaldo's injury-time strike.

Real will play Japanese champions Kashima Antlers in Sunday's final in Yokohama, looking to become world champions for the second time in three years.

Karim Benzema's classy one-touch finish put Real ahead in first-half injury time, easing their nerves after they had struggled to find their rhythm in the opening 45 minutes against the Mexican side.

Newly crowned Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo rounded off a far stronger performance from Real after the break with a powerful finish in the 93rd minute.

The goal looked to have been ruled out as offside by referee Enrique Caceres before, in consultation with the video referee, he eventually gave the goal.

The new video technology also came to fore in the first semi-final on Wednesday, when Atletico Nacional were defeated 3-0 by Kashima.

The Colombians felt aggrieved after Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai stopped play, ran to the side of the pitch and watched a replay, before blowing for the penalty which was converted by Shoma Doi.

Nacional were fuming as the foul in question, Orlando Berrio's trip on Daigo Nishi as he ran towards an airborne free-kick, had gone virtually unnoticed by the players.

The Colombian players continued to remonstrate with the referee as they trudged off and their frustration will have been compounded as replays suggested Nishi may have been offside in the build-up.

"That decision was crucial because we were in control and it unbalanced us emotionally," said Nacional's Farid Diaz.

"It totally changed the game."

The video system is being trialled in Fifa competitions for the first time at this year's Club World Cup, although goal-line technology is already widely used. - WIRE SERVICES

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