The final two matches of FIFA Club World Cupproduced a bundle of goals and plenty of drama.
In an eight-goal thriller Real Madrid saw their way past Al-Hilal for their fifth all-time triumph in the competition, while Flamengo ran out 4-2 winners in a dramatic third place game with Al Ahly.
Real Madrid win eight-goal thriller
Scorers: Vinícius Jr. 13′, 69′, Valverde 18′, 58′, Marega 26′, Benzema 54′, Vietto 63′, 79′
Real Madrid saw off Al-Hilal in an eight goal thriller to become world champions in Rabat.
It was one-way traffic for Real Madrid from the first whistle.
With full control of the tempo and the possession, Ancelotti’s side pressed for the opener until Al-Hilal finally cracked.
In typical fashion, Vinícius Jr. picked up the ball on the edge of the box before slotting home underneath the arm of the keeper to snatch the lead for Real.
It only got better for Los Blancos, as Federico Valverde somehow managed to send his long-range shot through the keeper to double the lead only five minutes later.
While Real looked to potentially run away with the game, Moussa Marega cut the deficit in half on the break before the half-hour mark.
The supreme experience of the Real Madridside seemed to much too handle for Al-Hilal in the second half.
Despite seeing their lead cut in half late in the first half, Ancelotti’s men stayed on the front-foot and probed for another goal.
Their efforts were rewarded less than ten minutes into the second interval when Karim Benzema tapped home from close range to resore the two goal lead.
Similarly to the first half, Real struck once more just four minutes later, this time with Valverde who capped off a superb team move by slotting home from inside the six-yard area.
The Saudi Arabain outfit responded well once again however, as Luciano Vietto scored from another high-quality counter-attack to bring the Real lead back down to two.
It would not stay that way for long though, thanks to Vinícius Jr, whose side-footed effort found the back of the net shortly after.
Luciano Vietto capitalised on a mistake in the Real defence by poking in Al-Hilal’s third, in the final 15 minutes, but it was too-little, too-late for the Saudi club.
The result saw Real Madrid be crowned world champions for the fifth time, and the fourth since 2016.
Flamengo secure third place with dramatic win
Scorers: Abdel Kader 37′, 69′; Barbosa (PEN) 11′, (PEN) 84′, Pedro 77′, 90+1′.
Flamengo pressed the issue from the off, and looked the more likely to find the opener.
They were rewarded for their efforts in the opening ten minutes when Guillermo Varela was taken down in the box, forcing the referee to award a penalty after a VAR check.
The subsequent spot-kick was coolly dispatched by Gabriel Barbosa to give the Brasilian side an early lead.
Al Ahly responded well however, and found the equaliser before the break, thanks to an Ahmed Abdel Kader header.
After the restart, it was Al Ahly’s turn to jump into the lead after they were given a penalty-kick of their own just before the hour mark.
However, Aderbar Santos guessed right in the Flamengo goal and saved Ali Maâloul’s spot-kick in dramatic fashion.
Luckily for the Egyptian side, Abdel Kader was on hand to save the day when went on a magical solo run before firing his shot into the bottom corner to snatch the lead just moments later.
The drama did not stop there, as Khaled Abdelfattah was sent off for denying a goal-scoring opportunity just a few minutes later, leaving Al Ahly to fend off the final 20 minutes with ten men.
Flamengo took advantage quickly, as Pedro pounced on a loose ball in the box to score and equalise.
To make matters worse for the Egyptians, Flamengo were warded their second penalty on the night for a handball in the box moments later.
As he did in the first half, Gabriel Barbosa fired Flamengo in front.
A late Pedro strike ensured Vítor Pereira’s side collected the trophy on a dramatic day in Tangier.