[CLUB WORLD CUP]
In an open, attacking game with several highlight moments for the "Bad Defending 101" DVD, Manchester United beat Asian champion Gamba
Osaka, 5-3, in Thursday's second semifinal of the Club World Cup in Yokohama. The English team faces Copa Libertadores champion LDU Quito in Sunday's final.
At 2-0 up
and with just under 20 minutes left, United looked to be coasting to an easy win after first-half headed goals, both directly from corner kicks, for Nemanja
and Cristiano Ronaldo
. But on 73 minutes, Gamba striker Masato Yamazaki
pulled a goal back with a nice
strike to bring both the crowd and the game back to life.
It brought United back to life too, as the European champion promptly scored three goals in four minutes to make the
game safe at 5-1. Wayne Rooney
, who had been substituted into the game just seconds before Gamba scored, hit a well-taken brace, with a Darren Fletcher
header sandwiched between. Gamba gave the scoreline a more respectable look thanks to a cool penalty kick from Yasuhito Endo
, and a stinging stoppage time effort from Hideo Hashimoto
"The fans got their money's worth,"
said United manager Alex Ferguson
. "Gamba really played well, I was impressed. It was a great match and the score could have been even higher by the final
whistle. Edwin van der Sar made three tremendous saves to secure the win for us."
Gamba's Akira Nishino
said that "it was
obviously an entertaining match for the spectators, but I can't be happy with the result because we lost. Wayne Rooney
was the one we really didn't get
to grips with. We gave them two easy goals from corners and that killed us. We weren't given a prayer to win this game, but we scored three goals so we have to be proud."
Adelaide United beat Al-Ahly of Egypt, 1-0, on a goal from Cristiano
to take fifth place. Schedule (live on
Fox Soccer Channel) Third-place game:
Pachuca vs Gamba Osaka (Sunday, 2.30 a.m. ET) Final:
Manchester United vs LDU Quito (Sunday, 5.30 a.m. ET)