Club World Cup final: Chelsea falters on the last hurdle against Corinthians
Chelsea’s pursuit of becoming World Champions ended at the hands of South America’s finest. The Champions League winners of last season return from Japan empty handed thanks to Paolo Guerrero’s decisive goal in the final.
Despite Rafa Benitez playing his top 11 men on the field including on-form Mata and Torres, the blues failed to capitalise on their chances. Both sides started the match rather conservatively. No real threats were imposed by either side on first half.
Second half the Brazilians came out the livelier side. They kept pressure on Chelsea’s heels with Paulinho and Guerrero linking up time and time again to make life difficult for Ivanovic on the right hand side. On the 69th minute all the hard work and constant pressing paid off for the South American champions when Danilo’s shot fell kindly towards Guerrero who was unmarked by Ashley Cole. Guerrero’s header gave his team a 1-0 advantage with just 20 minutes on the clock.
Benitez made an instant change and brought on Oscar to alter the scoreline. The best chance of the game for Chelsea was awarded to Torres, the Spaniard had a golden opportunity six yards out, but Cassio managed to keep it out. Eden Hazard also had a decent attempt to challenge the Corinthian keeper, but his left foot shot was too weak.
With three minutes left to play, Gary Cahill was given a red card for an off-ball incident. Emerson went down holding onto his face, after a minor clash with Cahill and the referee was quick to send off the defender.
On the 92nd minute Torres thought he got a goal back for Chelsea after his header finally beating Cassio; however, the linesman ruled Chelsea striker offside. This was the first competitive match where goal line technology was available; however, the decision was not challenged.
The match finished 1-0 in favour of South American champions, Corinthians who are now World Club Champions of 2012.
Umida Ibrahimova, sports correspondent