• Thursday Dec 15, 2016

    Real Madrid tops Club America, advances to FCWC final

    Club America's Pablo Aguilar (right) chases down Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid during their FIFA Club World Cup semifinal on December 15, 2016, in Yokohama, Japan. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

    YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Real Madrid scored late in each half to defeat Club America 2-0 on Thursday and advanced to the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup final.

    Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo struck for the Merengues in the semifinal encounter at the International Stadium Yokohama, setting up a decisive date with J.League champion Kashima Antlers on December 18.

    Costa Rica international goalkeeper Keylor Navas – celebrating his 30th birthday -- recorded the shutout. He denied Alex Ibarra and parried away a bounced effort from outside the box by William Da Silva in the first half.

    After a Ronaldo header hit the left post in the 26th minute, Karim Benzema made sure that the CONCACAF champion didn’t enter the break unscathed. In the second minute of added time, the 28-year-old forward received in the left side of the box a through ball from Toni Kroos and beat goalkeeper Moises Muñoz with the outside of his right foot from 10-yards out.

    Ronaldo added an insurance goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time off an assist from James Rodriguez.

    Club America will meet Colombia’s Atletico Nacional in the match for third place at the same venue, also on Sunday.

    FIFA Club World Cup -- Semifinals                                                                                                                   December 15, 2016: International Stadium Yokohama – Yokohama, Japan (Att: 50,117)
    Club America-Real Madrid 0-2 (0-1)
    Karim Benzema 45’+2; Cristiano Ronaldo 90’+3

    Club America: Moises Muñoz; Ventura Alvarado (Jose Guerrero 54’), Bruno Valdez, Paolo Goltz, Pablo Aguilar, Miguel Samudio, William Da Silva, Alex Ibarra (Carlos Darwin Quintero 61’), Rubens Sambueza, Silvio Romero (Michael Arroyo 70’), Oribe Peralta. Head Coach: Ricardo La Volpe

    Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Daniel Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Nacho Fernandez, Marcelo, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos (James Rodríguez 72’), Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucas Vazquez, Karim Benzema (Alvaro Morata 80’). Head Coach: Zinedine Zidane

    R: Enrique Caceres (Paraguay); AR1: Eduardo Cardozo (Paraguay); AR2: Juan Zorrilla (Paraguay); 4th: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)

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