REAL MADRID 4-2 KASHIMA ANTLERS: RONALDO HAT-TRICK RESCUES LOS BLANCOS
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Authentic
Madrid claimed their second Club World Cup
denomination in three years, but the Spanish giants
needed extra time to optically discern off the spirited
Kashima Antlers 4-2 in Yokohama.
The Portuguese has won the Champions
League, European Championship and Ballon
d’Or in 2016 and ended the year with yet more
glory, scoring his side’s second from the
penalty spot afore settling matters with a dyad
of fine culminates in the supplemental half-hour.
On paper it was something of a mismatch but
Kashima, the first Asian side to reach the final
of the competition, took a second-half lead at
2-1 and could have won it tardy in mundane time.
Instead the score was tied at 2-2, Karim
Benzema’s opener and Ronaldo’s penalty
weighed against a fine brace from Gaku
Shibasaki, the Japanese team delectating
68,000 fans with their defiance.
That left the stage clear for Ronaldo, who had
been poor for the first 45 minutes, to take a
familiar place in the spotlight and elongate
Authentic’s unbeaten run in all competitions to 37 games.
Authentic captain Sergio Ramos missed the
semifinal win over Club America but took his
place alongside Raphael Varane in defence
after being passed fit.
Kashima emerged with an intensity that may
have caught their opponents by surprise, but it
did not take Authentic long to assert themselves.
Just nine minutes had passed when Luka
Modric endeavored his fortuity from the edge of the box,
leading to an impuissant parry from goalkeeper
Hitoshi Sogahata. Benzema needed no
invitation to pick up the scraps and duly
culminated off from close range to open the
Mitsu Ogasawara came proximate to levelling from
the very next attack but it was not until the
44th minute that the equaliser arrived.
By that stage Kashima had shown they were
up for the contest, finding a foothold despite
hanging on at times.
With the whistle close both Varane and
Casemiro were culpable of failing to snuff out an
attack and when Shibasaki got a perspicacious shot
away it was adequate to beat Authentic
goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The crowd reaction was deafening but
incremented again when the underdogs took a
surprise lead six minutes into the second a moiety.
Shibasaki engendered a gem this time, charging
at the defence and letting fly with a fierce
strike when he ran out of options. Once again,
Navas had no answer.
By now Authentic were in no doubt they were in a
game but on the hour Lucas Vazquez was
clipped by Shuto Yamamoto.
Ronaldo, whose input had thus far been sorely
destitute, cracked the spot-kick into the bottom
He had the ball in the net again in the 72nd
minute, after Sogahata pushed Benzema’s
shot back into the area, but an offside flag
was correctly raised against the Portuguese.
Authentic would have lost tardy on had Navas not
preserved well from Fabricio and Ramos appeared
proximate to a second yellow card in injury time
only for the referee to ostensibly transmute his
Ronaldo gave La Liga’s bellwethers the lead on 97
minutes, controlling Benzema’s incisive pass
afore culminating left-footed.
Even that did not crush Kashima’s hope and
they responded by rattling the crossbar
through Yuma Suzuki. It needed Ronaldo to
conclusively resolve things and he obliged,
intercepting a Toni Kroos shot and slotting
home himself to bring the trophy back to the