Kashima Antlers beat Guadalajara 3-2 to set up Fifa Club World Cup semi-final with Real Madrid
Asian champions to face reigning world champions in repeat of 2016 final
Kashima Antlers scored three second-half goals to beat Guadalajara at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, and advance to the Fifa Club World Cup semi-finals.
The side from Japan will now play Real Madrid in the last four in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, in a repeat of the final of two years ago.
Guadalajara were ahead in the third minute, when striker Angel Zaldivar headed past Sun Tae Kwon in the Antlers goal, after a mazy dribble and cross by Isaac Brizeula.
The Mexican side might have been further ahead by half time. Zaldivar came close to doubling his and his team’s account, but saw his shot saved by Kwon, before Orbelin Pineda struck the bar on the stroke of the interval.
Kashima might have been lucky to still be in the game, but they struck back pluckily after the break.
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They levelled four minutes after the restart, after a rapid breakaway resulted in midfielder Ryota Nagaki turning in after a fine cross by Shoma Doi.
The Asian champions were in the ascendant, and took the lead from the penalty spot with a little over 20 minutes left.
Doi, the tricky Kashima midfielder, was adjudged to have been fouled inside the box by Michael Perez, and Serginho, the Brazilian midfielder, made no mistake from the spot.
With six minutes of the 90 remaining, Hiroki Abe, a second-half substitute, curled home Kashima’s third – barely a minute after he had been shown a yellow card for a foul.
Guadalajara were given a penalty of their own in stoppage time, after a video review, when Jair Pereira was fouled.
Alan Pulido saw his penalty saved by Kwon, but he bundled the rebound in, via a deflection off Hugo Leonardo, the Antlers midfielder, in the ensuing scramble. It counted for little more than consolation, though, as Kashima went through.
Updated: December 15, 2018 07:36 PM