Gremio on track for Club World Cup hat-trick
Brazilian side Gremio beat Mexico's Pachuca 1-0 with a goal by winger Everton five minutes into extra-time yesterday morning (Singapore time) to book a place in the Club World Cup final.
The 21-year-old substitute drifted inside from the left and hammered home a fierce strike that Pachuca goalkeeper Oscar Perez could do nothing to stop.
The Porto Alegre side will meet the winners of this morning's semi-final clash between holders Real Madrid and Al Jazira of Abu Dhabi in Sunday morning's showpiece.
"We were nervous at the start and we didn't need to be," said Gremio coach Renato Portaluppi.
"We played football and we started to create more chances in the second half.
"It's the end of the year as well, we were tired but we were the better team and now we can concentrate on the final."
Gremio, twice winners of the Intercontinental Cup - the forerunner to the Club World Cup - in 1983 and 1995, will now aim to become the first non-European team to win the title since compatriots Corinthians beat Chelsea in 2012.
Both Latin teams fought out a scrappy 90 minutes in the United Arab Emirates that featured 35 fouls and few clear-cut chances.
For Concacaf Champions League winners Pachuca, the defeat was another letdown.
Boasting Japanese attacker Keisuke Honda, they had Victor Guzman sent off for a second yellow card with 10 minutes of extra-time remaining.
The Mexican side have now played in five Club World Cup tournaments without reaching the final. - REUTERS