Final, 4-0 Real Madrid: It’s all over at Le Grand Stade de Marrakech. Real Madrid wins in a rout.
Real Madrid left no doubt of its intention to win this tournament. Ramos, Benzema, Bale and Isco scored the goals, as the European champions waltzed past Cruz Azul into the final.
Real Madrid will face either San Lorenzo or Auckland City, who play the other semifinal Wednesday, in Saturday’s final. Cruz Azul will play the loser Saturday in the third-place game.
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90th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Jese’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area goes wide.
89th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Ronaldo hits a free kick on target, but Corona saves it comfortably.
86th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Berrera misses with a shot from just outside the Real Madrid penalty area.
Berrara has tried a number of shots since coming on as a second-half substitute.
84th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Khedira heads Ronaldo’s cross off the post.
80th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Bale’s corner kick finds Varane, but the French defender’s effort misses the target.
79th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Formica shoots from distance, but Casillas gets down and makes the save.
77th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Flores heads a corner kick over the crossbar.
76th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Valadez replaces the impressive Rojas in Cruz Azul’s final substitution.
76th minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Jese enters the fray in place of Isco, as Real Madrid makes its final substitution.
73rd minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Real Madrid makes another change, as Khedira replaces Kroos.
72nd minute, 4-0 Real Madrid: Isco slots a shot past Corona, and the rout is on.
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71st minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Formica heads a shot on goal, but it’s right at Casillas.
71st minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Cruz Azul comes back with a chance of its own, as Berrera shoots on target. Casillas makes the save.
71st minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Corona saves Benzema’s shot.
69th minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Bale misses the target with a free kick.
66th minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Barrera hits the post with a long-range shot that beat Casillas.
65th minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Cruz Azul counters with two substitutions. Fabian and Barrera come on for Pavone and Gimenez, respectively.
64th minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Varane enters, and Ramos exits, as Real Madrid makes a change to its back line.
63rd minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Ronaldo tries to score on the half-volley with a rabona shot, but this too goes right to Corona.
61st minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Bale heads Ronaldo’s cross straight to Corono, who saves it easily.
59th minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Ronaldo tries to score with an overhead kick, but his effort goes straight into Corona’s waiting hands.
55th minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Bale thinks he has scored again, but the referee disallows the goal because the Real Madrid forward was ruled offside.
54th minute 3-0 Real Madrid: Carvajal goes down in a heap after Gimenez made a heavy challenge on him. It looks like the Real Madrid fullback can continue.
50th minute, 3-0 Real Madrid: Bale scores, and it’s threatening to turn into a rout.
Isco and Benzema combined to release Ronaldo on the left. Ronaldo crossed to the far post, and Bale nodded it past Corona into the goal.
46th minute, 2-0 Real Madrid: The second half of Real-Madrid-Cruz Azul is underway.
Halftime, 2-0 Real Madrid: That’s the end of the first half. Real Madrid leads by two.
Real Madrid is taking care of business in Morocco, having taken a commanding lead in its first Club World Cup game. Ramos and Benzema scored the goals, and Real Madrid dominated possession. It wasn’t easy, though.
Cruz Azul created a number of opportunities and will rue Torrado’s missed penalty kick.
43rd minute, 2-0 Real Madrid: Ronaldo hits a powefrul free kick from 30 yards out, but it sails a few feet over the Cruz Azul goal.
42nd minute, 2-0 Real Madrid: Casillas races off his line to retrieve Illaramendi’s back-pass, as Real Madrid has another nervy moment in defense.
41st minute, 2-0 Real Madrid: Rojas heads over the crossbar, as Cruz Azul threatens again.
40th minute, 2-0 Real Madrid: Casillas saves Torrado’s penalty kick, preserving his team’s two-goal lead.
Torrado’s penalty kick was too close to the center, making it easy for Casillas, who dove the right way, to save it.
39th minute, 2-0 Real Madrid: It’s a penalty kick for Cruz Azul.
Formica went down after Ramos pulled him inside the penalty area. The referee pointed at the spot.
Ramos is cautioned for the foul.
36th minute, 2-0 Real Madrid: Benzema doubles Real Madrid’s lead.
Carvajal beat two defenders and surged into Cruz Azul’s penalty area and crossed into the goal-mouth. Benzema arrived before Flores and poked it past Corona.
31st minute, 1-0 Real Madrid: Kroos fires a shot on goal from long distance, but Corona makes the save. Isco set up Kroos with a nice reverse pass.
28th minute, 1-0 Real Madrid: Ramos desperately blocks Rojas’ shot from inside Real Madrid’s penalty area.
Real Madrid is sustaining possession, but Cruz Azul makes things happen when it carries play into Real Madrid’s half.
20th minute, 1-0 Real Madrid: Flores crosses into the area, but Formica clumsily gets in the way before the pass can reach Pavone. Cruz Azul doesn’t intend to fade away despite trailing by one.
15th minute, 1-0 Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos scores, and the European champions take the lead.
Kross set the stage with a free kick, and Ramos turned it in with a glancing header. Corona was caught in no-man’s land after leaving his line to intercept Kroos’ delivery and missing.
11th minute, 0-0: Benzema shoots from just outside the Cruz Azul penalty area, but he misses the target — not by much.
11th minute, 0-0: Corona makes another save on Ronaldo.
Ninth minute, 0-0: Rojas bamboozles Marcelo and sends a dangerous low cross into Real Madrid’s penalty area, but Pavone can’t connect with it.
Real Madrid is dominating possession, but Cruz Azul is showing some menace.
Fourth minute, 0-0: Dominguez heads Gimenez’s free kick wide of the Real Madrid goal.
Third minute, 0-0: Real Madrid has the first scoring chance of the game, as Benzema heads Carvajal’s cross to Ronaldo, who shoots from inside the goal-mouth. Everyone expects him to score, but Corona lunges in the way and makes a spectacular save.
Kickoff: The Club World Cup semifinal between Real Madrid and Cruz Azul is underway.
Pregame: Real Madrid is fielding its strongest lineup against Cruz Azul.
Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema will provide the attacking threat with support from Isco and the two fullbacks.
Kroos will dictate play from the midfield, while Illaramendi will bring energy and enthusiasm.
James and Luka Modric are injured and won’t play.
Cruz Azul will look to veteran midfielder Torrado for inspiration. The 35-year-old scored two penalty kicks in the quarterfinal.
2 p.m.: Here are the lineups:
Iker Casillas (1), goalkeeper
Marcelo (12), left back
Pepe (3), center back
Sergio Ramos (4), center back
Dani Carvajal (15), right back
Toni Kroos (8), midfielder
Asier Illarramendi (24), midfielder
Isco (23), midfielder
Gareth Bale (11), forward
Cristiano Ronaldo (7), forward
Karim Benzema (9), striker
Keylor Navas (13), goalkeeper
Fernando Pacheco (25), goalkeeper
Raphael Varane (2), defender
Nacho Fernandez (18), defender
Fabio Coentrao (5), defender
Alvaro Arbeloa (17), defender
Sami Khedira (6), midfielder
Alvaro Medran (26), midfielder
Jese (20), striker
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (14), striker
Jose Corona (1), goalkeeper
Fausto Pinto (2), left back
Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez (3), center back
Julio Cesar Dominguez (4), center back
Gerardo Flores (15), right back
Gerardo Torrado (6), midfielder
Christian Gimenez (10), midfielder
Hernan Bernardello (27), midfielder
Mauro Formica (33), forward
Joao Rojas (11), forward
Hugo Pavone (9), striker
Guillermo Allison (12), goalkeeper
Yosgart Gutierrez (25), goalkeeper
Rogelio Chavez (16), defender
Emanuel Loeschbor (17), defender
Alejandro Castro (5), midfielder
Pablo Barrera (7), midfielder
Alejandro Vela (19), midfielder
Xavier Baez (21), midfielder
Marco Fabian (8), forward
Ismael Valadez (18), forward
Pablo Torres (20), striker
1:20 p.m. ET: Real Madrid will take the first steps toward its first-ever world championship Tuesday when it faces Cruz Azul at Le Grand Stade de Marrakech in Morocco in the semifinal of the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup. Cruz Azul, commonly known in Mexico as “La Maquina (the machine)” or the “Cementeros (cement mixers),” are trying to stop the Spanish giants in their tracks.
Real Madrid-Cruz Azul will be the first semifinal in FIFA’s annual competition, which pits the champions of each confederation (and host country Morocco) against each other for the right to claim the title of club world champion. Real Madrid is the reigning UEFA Champions League winner, while Cruz Azul is CONCACAF’s (North and Central America and the Carribean) representative in the tournament.
Real Madrid enters the 2014 Club World Cup on the back of an unprecedented 20-game winning streak (in all competitions). Head coach Carlo Ancelotti hopes to extend that streak and crown an amazing year by leading his team to a world championship.
“All the teams are champions and winning would mean putting an end to an unforgettable year,” Ancelotti told Real Madrid’s website Monday, according to the Associated Press. “We are heading into it with a lot of excitement.”
Cruz Azul is trying to become the first Mexican team to reach a Club World Cup final, but the odds are stacked against it. Cruz Azul played 120 minutes on a rain-soaked field Saturday, grinding out a 3-1 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers in the quarterfinals. The quick turnaround between games and Real Madrid’s excellence makes Tuesday’s game Cruz Azul’s toughest test of the year.
Real Madrid-Cruz Azul was supposed to be played at the Complexe Sportif Prince Moulay Abdellah in Rabat, Morocco, but heavy rainstorms made the field unplayable, and organizers moved it to the Stade de Marrakech.
Real Madrid-Cruz Azul kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Join us right here for all the action from Le Grand Stade de Marrakech.
Photo via Twitter/@kylejmccarthy