After defeating Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia 5-3 in the championship match in Rabat, Morocco, Real Madrid has won the Club World Cup for a record-extending fifth time.
In the shootout-style final on Saturday, Vinicius Junior scored twice and assisted Karim Benzema on a third, and Federico Valverde added two more goals for the European champions.
Despite never having the upper hand, Al-Hilal proved that its upset of Flamengo of Brazil to advance to the decisive match in the capital of Morocco wasn’t a fluke.
For the Asian champions, Luciano Vietto and Moussa Marega each scored once.
In 2018, Madrid last won the Club World Cup. Additionally, they won the competition in 2014, 2016, and 2017.
In the 13th and 69th minutes of Saturday’s game, respectively, Vinicius scored Madrid’s first and fifth goals.
“Vinicius has grown as a player and as a team since last season. Vinicius has improved along the way as we’ve won the Champions League and the world championship, according to Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.
“We are overjoyed with how well he is doing, especially considering how much better he keeps getting. He is now making the difference in every game and has become much more decisive.
The inclusion of Benzema in Madrid’s starting lineup a day after Ancelotti said it was touch-and-go as to whether he would be able to play at all came as a mild surprise. The winner of the Ballon d’Or has missed Madrid’s last two contests, including Wednesday’s 4-1 semifinal victory over the Egyptian team Al Ahly.
The France striker played Vinicius clear to beat Abdullah Al-Mayouf in goal after exchanging passes with Valverde. Al-Mayouf got a leg to the shot but was unable to stop it from going into his net.
In the 18th minute, Valverde smashed a shoddy clearance between the legs of a defender, who deflected it just enough for it to fly past Al-Mayouf and double the lead.
Al-Hilal, however, found its footing after Marega caught Madrid’s backline while attempting to spring an offside trap in the 26th minute, after struggling to even complete three passes in the opening period.
The backup goalie for Madrid, Andriy Lunin, who started in place of the injured Thibaut Courtois, was unfazed as the former Porto striker dashed away.
Al-Hilal was victorious, and Madrid was halted until Benzema scored on an exquisite pass from Vinicius.
The Brazilian attacker met Benzema’s darting move by bending a short cross around a defender with the outside edge of his right boot. In the 54th minute, Benzema did the rest by launching it into the top of the net with just one touch.
In the 58th, Valverde made a second addition.
Vinicius’s second goal was followed by two goals from Vietto, who scored in the 63rd and 79th minutes while Madrid’s defence failed to keep tabs on the Argentine in the penalty area.
Al-Hilal was prevented from attempting a last-ditch equaliser by Marega’s late error.
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