Real Madrid 1-0 Gremio: Spanish Champions outshine Brazilians to win FIFA Club World CupDecember 16, 2017
Real Madrid became the first team to win back-to-back FIFA Club World Cup titles after Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick defeated Brazilian side Gremio in the final.
The European Champions controlled the early tempo, but were restricted to long-distance efforts in the first half.
Gremio deservedly ended the first period level, but trailed early on in the second when FIFA Ballon D’Or winner Ronaldo struck a trademark free-kick beyond the reach of keeper Marcelo Grohe.
Real could have added to their tally, but had to settle for victory by a solitary goal.
The La Liga Champions made hard work of their semi-final win over Al Jazira, and this continued against the South American Champions.
Isco flashed an early long-range effort over the crossbar, as Real Madrid struggled to open their opposition’s defence.
Gremio themselves, offered some threat as Edilson’s ambitious free-kick flew just north of the Real Madrid crossbar, and they were deservedly level at the break.
After the interval, Ronaldo arrived at the forefront of the action, warning Gremio with a powerful effort wide of the post, as Los Blancos cranked up the pressure.
Two minutes later, Ronaldo found the net, striking home low free-kick to give his side the lead.
With the confidence of a goal, Real Madrid looked by far the more dominant team. Grohe pushed a Luka Modric shot onto the post as the Spaniards looked to extend their narrow lead.
The scoreline would have been more emphatic if it wasn’t for Grohe’s assured performance in goal. Substitute Gareth Bale’s strike was kept out by an outstretched save.
Gremio, who didn’t manage a shot on target throughout, never looked like equalising in the second half, as Real Madrid held out to win the title comfortably.