Atlético Mineiro are through to the FIFA Club World Cup Final after a 1-0 victory over host nation representatives Wydad Casablanca in Rabat tonight, a match which saw the local side play for an hour with ten men.
After a scrappy opening half-hour, Hamed Diomandé was shown a harsh red card after he was adjudged to have held back Bernard who was running onto a through-ball. Arguments over whether the Brazilian striker was beyond the last man will ring on in Morocco long into the night, but he was a long way from goal.
Mineiro failed to take many of their chances, despite being the better side throughout, and it took until the final five minutes to take the lead. Patric’s corner was delivered to the far post, headed back across goal by Cícero and nodded home off the bar by Lourival.
Atlético Mineiro will play the winners of tomorrow night’s clash between Al-Sadd and Borussia Dortmund in the Final, while Wydad Casablanca will fight for third against the losing side.
In the 5th Place Playoff, New York Red Bulls beat Al-Merreikh 5-3 on penalties after a thrilling 2-2 draw in Rabat. Neal Waddington put the MLS side in front on eighteen minutes before a 60-second brace from Abdelhameed Amari had the scoreline turned around within four minutes.
Joe Warburton equalised on the hour for NYRB, and the next sixty minutes couldn’t separate the sides until the dreaded shootout.