Zinedine Zidane pleased as Real Madrid book place in Club World Cup final

Zinedine Zidane praised the way his Real Madrid side delivered the required result to beat Club America 2-0 and book their place in the final of the Club World Cup.

The European champions did just enough to see off the Mexicans in Yokohama, with goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo arriving in stoppage time at the end of both halves.

Benzema struck in added time at the end of the first half, clipping the ball into the roof of the net.

After Real failed to make the most of their possession, Ronaldo - named on Monday night as the world's best-rated player by the Ballon d'Or judges - drilled in a low shot which was eventually given as a goal after the referee had called for a video review.

Real will next face Japanese side Kashima Antlers on Sunday.

"We got what we came for - a place in the final. It has been difficult, but now we move onto the final," Zidane said at a press conference.

"The first part of the match was a bit complicated with the tempo. The field was hard and the ball did not pass well, so we had some difficulty.

"The second half was much better, with chances for us. However, we had to kill the game and did it in the end with Cristiano Ronaldo."

Zidane added: "We struggled coming into the game with the change in time zones and also travelling from afar.

"However, we are prepared, especially in terms of motivation. It is an important trophy for us and we want to give everything to win it. "

After dominating possession in the second half, the LaLiga leaders eventually got their second goal with Ronaldo collecting a pass from substitute James Rodriguez and promptly drilling a low shot past goalkeeper Moises Munoz.

Paraguay referee Enrique Caceres briefly caused some confusion as he signalled for a video assistant referee consultation, which is being trialled at the FIFA tournament, before it was decided there was no infringement and the goal stood.

"The problem is that we have to adapt to what FIFA wants to do," Zidane said.

"I have my ideas and it is true there has been some confusion on our second goal.

"Things have to be clearer. We can not control what they want to do to improve things with technology. If it is to improve football for the better (then good), but things have to be clearer. "

Kashima Antlers booked a place in Sunday's final with a 3-0 win over Atletico Nacional.

Zidane said: "We know it will be a difficult game on Sunday, because it is against a Japanese team which is at home. However, we are prepared and motivated to get this trophy.

"The important thing is to rest because we have few days to prepare the final. Now we think only of being in the final and the trophy we can achieve. We have come from far away and we can have a celebration party (if we win)."


KEYWORDS: sport, soccer.

 

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