Saturday, December 21, 2013
Bayern beats Raja to win Club World Cup
MARRAKECH, Morocco -- Bayern Munich capped the greatest year in club history by beating Raja Casablanca 2-0 Saturday for its first Club World Cup.
The European champion added a record fifth title to its trophy cabinet at the tournament of continental champions to go with the Champions League, Bundesliga, German Cup, and European Super Cup triumphs.
"I think we knew how to approach each game and that was key," said coach Pep Guardiola, who won the event for the third time, including twice before with Barcelona. "The first 25 minutes we played very well. After that we forgot to attack."
Bayern won the first of two Intercontinental Cups -- the forerunner to this event -- exactly 37 years ago.
Dante scored early to deflate the Moroccan hosts at Marrakech Stadium, and Thiago Alcantara put the Bavarians in command with his 22nd-minute goal.
Raja, which beat Copa Libertadores champion Atletico Mineiro in the semifinals, used its speed on the break and came close to scoring but couldn't keep up with the German champions and their deep lineup of international players.
"It is the greatest team in the world with the greatest coach. We believed in our means but we were not lucky today," Raja coach Faouzi Benzarti said. "We were not aggressive enough. And we were playing giants."
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.
Guardiola, who replaced Jupp Heynckes in the summer following the first three title wins, improved his overall record to 6-1 in one-game finals.
"This title belongs to Jupp. I just tried to keep alive everything he did," Guardiola said. "You can't compare these triumphs, they're all different."
Raja was cheered by a crowd of 37,747 that included King Mohammed VI of Morocco, but it couldn't muster enough to break through.
Guardiola made three changes to the team that defeated Guangzhou Evergrande of China 3-0 in the semifinals, with Dante replacing slow-footed central defender Daniel van Buyten to keep up with Raja's speedy forwards.
Dante made an immediate impact as the Brazil international gathered teammate Jerome Boateng's headed corner inside the box to blast it past goalkeeper Khalid Askri seven minutes after the start.
Raja's defense was again scrambling in the 22nd when David Alaba laid a pass onto Thiago's run into the area to sidefoot a powerful shot beyond Askri.
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