Ronaldo treble fires Real to Club World Cup

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Dec 2016 09:45:53


YOKOHAMA (Japan),

Dec 18,

(AFP),

CRISTIANO Ronaldo grabbed a hat-trick as Real Madrid survived a colossal scare to beat Japan’s Kashima Antlers 4-2 and win the Club World Cup on Sunday. A Gaku Shibasaki double threatened one of football’s greatest shocks after Karim Benzema had given Real an early lead in Yokohama.


But Ronaldo equalised from the penalty spot before pouncing twice in extra-time to give the Spanish giants their second world title in three years and fifth in total.


“Bloody hell, what a game!” said a breathless Ronaldo. “We had to suffer, but that’s what finals are about. It’s a trophy we really wanted to win and we end the year in the best way possible so I am very happy.” The victory extended Real’s club-record unbeaten run to 37 matches in all competitions, while French coach Zinedine Zidane surpassed Fabio Capello’s record for their best start to a season. The European champions, yet to be defeated in 26 games this campaign, were forced to dig deep by an Antlers side who finished a distant third over the J-League season before winning the championship final.