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Urawa brush aside Wydad in Club World Cup

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Abu Dhabi: AFC Champions League winners Urawa Red Diamonds ended their 2017 FIFA Club World Cup campaign on a high after beating African champions Wydad Casablanca 3-2 in the fifth-place play-off on Tuesday.

A brace from defender Mauricio Antonio and Yosuke Kashiwagi’s strike settled the tie for Urawa after Wydad had cancelled out Antonio’s opening goal.

Wydad dominated the early proceedings, but it was Urawa who broke the deadlock against the run of play. Centre-back Antonio received the ball inside Wydad’s half and unleashed a 35-yard piledriver that flew past goalkeeper Badreddine Benachour to register Urawa’s first goal in the tournament.

The celebrations did not, however, last long for the Japanese fans present at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, as Ismail El Haddad restored parity three minutes later. The winger’s in-swinging cross sailed past everyone inside the penalty area before nestling in the far corner of Shusaku Nishikawa’s goal.

Urawa were quick to respond though, restoring their lead via Kashiwagi. The 2017 AFC Champions League MVP was well positioned at the far post to convert Rafael Silva’s cross from the left flank after a well worked attack in the 26th minute.

Antonio then completed a rare brace after he got on the end of a poor defensive clearance following a cross from Kashiwagi’s free-kick to fire home the Japanese side’s third of the night and put the tie beyond doubt at the hour-mark.

An added time penalty gave Wydad a glimmer of hope, but Reda Hajhouj’s goal for the Moroccans was too little too late as Urawa secured the victory to end their second FIFA Club World Cup appearance in fifth place, a decade after they had finished third on home soil.