Real Madrid reached the final of the Club World Cup after a 2-0 victory over Club America in Yokohoma, extending their unbeaten run to 36 matches in the process.
The European champions dispatched the CONCACAF Champions League winners after goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Zinedine Zidane’s men looked a bit rusty in the opening period, but Benzema struck with the last kick of the half to ease fears of an upset.
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Ronaldo missed an absolute sitter after the restart – inexplicably heading away from goal when faced with an unguarded net – but he made amends by adding another deep in second-half injury time, although only after some mild confusion involving the new video replay system.
Real will face Kashima Antlers on Suday in Yokohoma at 7.30pm local time (10.30am in the UK).

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal

Image credit: Reuters

TALKING POINT

How long can this run go on? Zidane rested Ronaldo, Modric and Benzema ahead of this tournament and Real only just beat Deportivo in La Liga. The Frenchman is clearly trying to manage his squad and the Club World Cup is probably a distraction they do not need. Still, if they can win on Sunday with no injuries, it could see them kick on against rusty opposition in the new year.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid): What a boost it is to have the German back from injury. Kroos broke his foot and in his absence Madrid have carried on for a month and remain unbeaten. But everything flowed through him against Club America and he set up Benzema’s goal with a fine pass at the end of the first half. With him back, and looking in great touch, Real look slicker, smoother and dangerous. And there weren’t bad before!

PLAYER RATINGS

Club America: Munoz 7, Alvarado 6, Valdez 7, Goltz 6, Aguilar 6, Samudio 5, Da Silva 6, Sambueza 6, Ibarra 7, Romero 6, Peralta 6... Subs: Daniel Guerrero 5, Quintero 5, Arroyo 5.
Real Madrid: Navas 7, Carvajal 6, Varane 7, Nacho 6, Marcelo 8, Kroos 9, Casemiro 7, Modric 7, Vazquez 8, Benzema 8, Ronaldo 6... Subs: Rodriguez 5, Morata 6.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in action

Image credit: Reuters

KEY MOMENTS

27’ - POST! Ronaldo rises highest but can only nod his header down into the post from six yards...
32’ - DISALLOWED GOAL! Ronaldo hits the wall in exactly the same place as his first free-kick, but he lashes the rebound at goal with his left, only for it to by knocked away by Munoz. Benzema puts it in but is offside. Deep breaths...
46’ - GOAL! Club America 0-1 Real Madrid. Benzema strikes with what is probably the last kick of the half. He is played through by Kroos and shins it a bit with his right foot beyond the keeper. Relief for Real!

Karim Benzema v Club America

Image credit: AFP

66' - WHAT A MISS! There is a great ball in from Vazquez and Ronaldo and Benzema are unmarked in the middle. But the golden ball winner, as he calls it anyway, heads it backwards! Terrible miss. Was he unsighted?
90+3' - GOAL! Club America 0-2 Real Madrid. After a bizarre wait for the video replay, we have a second goal! Ronaldo is the goalscorer - slotting home into the bottom corner! Bit confusing though. Video nonsense.

KEY STATS

Real Madrid have gone 36 games in a row without losing, extending their club record

MATCH IN A TWEET

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