Gareth Bale’s winner saves Real Madrid from humiliation against Al Jazira

13 December 2017 07:42

Real Madrid avoided humiliation against Al Jazira as Gareth Bale’s late winner earned them a 2-1 victory and a place in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Despite Real dominating the match at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, it was the hosts who took a shock 41st-minute lead through Romarinho.

And Al Jazira looked to have gone two ahead early in the second half but it was chalked off for offside after a video referral.

Cristiano Ronaldo equalised shortly afterwards and substitute Bale scored moments after his introduction with nine minutes left to set up a final clash with Brazilians Gremio on Saturday.

Tweet of the match

– Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) with a typically witty take on the unlikely scoreline.

Star Man – Ali Khaseif

The first-choice goalkeeper was forced off only six minutes into the second half but performed heroics to keep Real out during the opening period.

Zinedine Zidane’s side fired in 17 efforts during the first half but could not beat Khaseif, with the stand-out saves coming from Karim Benzema and Luka Modric.

Stat of the match

With his sixth goal, Ronaldo became the Club World Cup’s all-time leading scorer.

Video referee watch

The Video Assistant Review system is being used in the Club World Cup and was put into action when Casemiro headed what appeared to be the opening goal.

Having initially appeared to rule out the goal and then given it, Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci then chalked it off for good having decided Benzema, who was in an offside position, was interfering despite not touching the ball.

A better advert for VAR came when a second ‘goal’ for Al Jazira was disallowed for offside.

Ratings

Al Jazira: Ali Khaseif 9 (out of 10), Salim Rashid 6, Mohamed Ayed 7, Musallem Fayez 7, Mohamad Al Attas 6, Yaqoub Al Hosani 6, Fares Juma 6, Khalifa Mubarak 6, Mbark Boussoufa 7, Ali Mabkhout 8, Romarinho 7. Substitutes: Khaled Al Senaani (for Khaseif, 51) 7, Eissa Mohamed (for Khalifa, 60) 6, Ahmed Rabia (for Al Hosani, 72) 6.

Real Madrid: Keylor Navas 6, Marcelo 7, Raphael Varane 6, Nacho 6, Achraf Hakimi 6, Casemiro 6, Mateo Kovacic 6, Luka Modric 6, Isco 7, Cristiano Ronaldo 7, Karim Benzema 7. Substitutes: Lucas Vazquez (for Isco, 68) 6, Marco Asensio (for Kovacic, 68) 6, Gareth Bale (for Benzema, 81) 7.

Who’s up next?

Al Jazira v Pachuca (Club World Cup, December 16)

Real Madrid v Gremio (Club World Cup, December 16)

Source: By PA Sport Staff


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