Real Madrid came from behind to beat Al Jazira in the Club World Cup semi final.
It was an action packed game, with Los Blancos spending much of it knocking on the door, with a heroic performance from Al Jazira goalkeeper Khasief, pulling out seven saves to deny Madrid before coming off early in the second half.
One particularly impressive save came from a corner when ball seemed destined to end up in the net, the 30-year-old blocked the ball with a strong Neueresque hand. He sadly injured himself after overstretching to stop a Ronaldo cross.
Khasief hard work had seemed all to be in vain when Casimero headed home. The goal was initially discounted only for the referee to give the goal and then, upon reviewing the VAR, disallowing it again.
The ordeal really took the wind out of Real Madrid’s sails and the game would take a further twist before halftime when Al Jazira took a shock lead with just their first shot on target. Confusion in the back line for a high ball allowed Romarinho in on the goal, the Brazilian cut inside Rapheal Varane, and tucked the ball away into the far corner.
It seemed like a real shock was on the cards when Al Jazira appeared to score a second. From a Madrid corner, two attackers were given the freedom of the pitch, with the ball laid on a plate for Khalfan Mubarak to slot home into an empty net. This time, VAR came to Madrid’s rescue, ruling the goal out for a rightful offside. Only a few minutes later, Modric’s pass cut open the Al Jazira defence for Ronaldo to slot home the equaliser.
Los Blancos went on to dominate the rest of the game, but, needed a Gareth Bale winner just 10 minutes from time to secure their place in the final. It was wonderful wing play that found the subsitute in space. Despite a Ronaldo attempted backheel finish, the goal was given to Gareth Bale and Madrid progress to the Club World Cup Final.
They face Gremio in the showpiece this Saturday.