Junya Tanaka and Masato Kudo scored goals four minutes apart as Kashiwa Reysol, playing five days after winning the Japanese league title, beat Auckland City, 2-0, in the opening game of the World Club Cup on Thursday in Toyota City.
Tanaka tallied in the 37th minute and Kudo doubled the lead before halftime to knock off the semi-professional Oceania representative that made its third appearance in the competition. The host club moves on to the quarterfinals, in which it plays Concacaf club champion Monterrey (Mexico) on Sunday. In the other quarterfinal, African champion Esperance Sportive De Tunis (Tunisia) meets Asian Champions League winner Al-Sadd (Qatar).
In the semifinals, the Monterrey-Kawisha winner plays South American Libertadores Cup champ Santos (Brazil), and European champion Barcelona (Spain) faces Esperance or Al-Sadd. The final is scheduled to be played Dec. 18 in Yokohama.
"We became champions on Saturday and didn’t have much time to prepare for this match as there were a lot of celebrations,” Kashiwa coach Nelsinho said. “But the two goals allowed us to take control and perform steadily throughout the match."