Real Madrid edged out CONCACAF Champions League winners Club America in the Club World Cup semi-final to book their summit clash with Asian Champions Kashima Antlers. In the match, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 500th goal of his club career to take his side ahead for the Sunday showdown.
Madrid dominated the proceedings from the outset and didn’t give Club America a chance to get the lead. Although the Mexican side battled well, they failed to create any pragmatic chances of a goal against a strong Madrid defence. The absence of captain Sergio Ramos, who was rested due to a minor injury, did little to affect the Madrid defence as they created a strong protection in front of the goal post.
In the initial minutes of the game, Ronaldo, who won his fourth Ballon d'Or earlier this week, disturbed the furniture when he hit a shot on target from an offside position.
Zinedine Zidane’s side, who were enjoying an unbeaten run of 35 games, finally got the lead just before half-time when Karim Benzema held on to a pass from Toni Kroos and sent in a shot from 12 yards to the net.
Ronaldo then scored his 500th club goal of his career by breaking past opposition goalkeeper Moises Munoz for a goal in the added injury time. Although there was a little confusion about the goal, the video official confirmed that there was no offside infringement.
With this victory, Real Madrid extended their unbeaten run to 36 games and will lock horns with Asian champions Japanese club Kashima Antlers.