Bayern claim Club World Cup

Published: Sunday | December 22, 2013 Comments 0
Bayern's Philipp Lahm (centre) holds the trophy aloft after his team won the final of the Club World Cup between FC Bayern Munich and Raja Casablanca in Marrakech, Morocco, yesterday.-AP
Bayern's Philipp Lahm (centre) holds the trophy aloft after his team won the final of the Club World Cup between FC Bayern Munich and Raja Casablanca in Marrakech, Morocco, yesterday.-AP

MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP):Bayern Munich capped the greatest year in club history by beating Raja Casablanca 2-0 to win their third Club World Cup yesterday.

The European champions added a record fifth title to their trophy cabinet at the tournament of continental champions to go with the Champions League, Bundesliga, German Cup, and European Super Cup triumphs in 2013.

Dante scored early to deflate the Moroccan hosts at Marrakech Stadium, and Thiago Alcantara put the Bavarian side in command with his 22nd-minute goal.

Unheralded Raja, who beat Copa Libertadores champion Atletico Mineiro in the semi-finals, used speed on the break and came close to scoring, but ultimately couldn't keep up with the German champions.

It was coach Pep Guardiola's third victory at the tournament, which he won twice before with Barcelona.

Bayern won the first of two Intercontinental Cups, the forerunner to this event, exactly 37 years ago yesterday.

Guardiola made three changes to the team that dismissed Guangzhou Evergrande of China 3-0 in the semi-finals, with Dante replacing slow-footed central defender Daniel van Buyten to pace Raja's speedy forwards, who were especially dangerous on the counter.

Dante made an immediate impact as the Brazil international gathered teammate Jerome Boateng's headed corner inside the box to blast it past helpless goalkeeper Khalid Askri seven minutes after the start.

Raja's defense erred by playing Dante onside to score, and it was again scrambling in the 22nd as David Alaba laid a pass on to Thiago's run into the area to sidefoot a powerful shot beyond Askri.

Earlier, 10-man Atletico beat Asian champion Guangzhou 3-2 to finish third. Luan scored a stoppage time winner following Ronaldinho's 88th-minute red card.



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