AFP/Al Ain, UAE
Asian champions Kashima Antlers beat Mexican side CD Guadalajara 3-2 in the quarter-finals of the Club World Cup yesterday to set up a semi-final against Real Madrid.
In the other last eight match, Emirati outfit Al Ain stunned Tunisian giants Esperance 3-0 to set up a last four clash with recent Copa Libertadores champions River Plate.
Guadalajara roared into an early lead thanks to Angel Zaldivar’s third-minute goal but Ryota Nagaki equalised in Al-Ain.
Kashima went ahead through Serginho’s 69th minute penalty and Hiroki Abe secured victory, making Leo Silva’s own goal deep in injury time academic.
Kashima’s meeting with Champions League winners Real on Wednesday will be a re-run of the 2016 final, which the Spanish giants won 4-2 after extra-time.
Al Ain had to fight from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Team Wellington, before winning the match on penalties, before booking their quarter-final ticket.
But the home team avoided making the same mistake against the African champions on Saturday, Mohamed Ahmed opening the scoring two minutes in before Hussein El Shahat doubled their lead on the quarter-hour.
Bandar Mohamed’s strike on the hour mark capped a deserved 3-0 win that will give Argentinian opponents River Plate food for thought ahead of their semi-final clash on Tuesday.
The final and the third place play-off will be held on December 22.
* Kashima Antlers 3 (Nagaki 49, Serginho 69-pen, Abe 84) CD Guadalajara 2 (Zaldivar 3, Leonardo 90+4-og)
* Esperance 0 Al Ain 3 (Ahmed 2, El Shahat 16, Mohamed 60)
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