Tag: Morocco

Club World Cup: Real Madrid 2-0 San Lorenzo

Real Madrid won their fourth trophy of 2014 by defeating Argentina’s South American champions San Lorenzo in the Club World Cup final in Morocco.

The Champions League, Copa del Rey and European Super Cup holders took the lead through a Sergio Ramos header.

A goalkeeping error allowed Gareth Bale to add a second when the Welshman’s shot squirmed under Sebastian Torrico.

Real were rarely troubled and extended their Spanish record with a 22nd consecutive win in all competitions.

The victory also provided the Bernabeu outfit with their first win in the competition in its current guise, although they won its predecessor – the Intercontinental Cup – three times.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti had signalled Real’s intent at capturing another piece of silverware by sending out a strong line-up including the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema.

However, while the Spanish side were initially frustrated by defence-minded Argentine opponents, Ramos made the breakthrough for Real.

A swift counter-attack led by Benzema ended in a Bale shot being parried wide by keeper Torrico and, from the resulting corner, Ramos nodded in a Toni Kroos delivery.

The emphasis was on San Lorenzo to take the initiative in search of a leveller but, instead, coach Edgardo Bauza’s side fell further behind after a goalkeeping error.

Real Madrid midfielders Kroos and Isco expertly dictated play and when the latter found Bale his shot went under the body of Torrico.

San Lorenzo, like other South American sides, place a high degree of importance on the Club World Cup but they struggled to make any impact on the match as they were outplayed and outclassed in Marrakech.

Iker Casillas – making his 700th appearance for Real – had one of his quieter games, but he did have to get down low to save an Emmanuel Mas left-foot shot and parry a late Juan Mercier strike as his side comfortably closed out the win.

They did not even need talisman Ronaldo to shine as the Portuguese struggled to impose himself, with his closest effort coming with a header straight at Torrico.

Earlier, Auckland City from New Zealand won the third-place play-off after beating Mexican side Cruz Azul on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Read more at BBC Sport

Africa Cup of Nations 2015: Equatorial Guinea to host tournament

Equatorial Guinea have been named as the hosts for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football has confirmed.

Caf selected a replacement for Morocco after rejecting their request to delay the 17 January to 8 February finals.

Morocco were concerned over the spread of the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

Caf subsequently expelled Morocco from the relocated tournament, which will now be held in the country which co-hosted with Gabon in 2012.

Equatorial Guinea will now take on sole responsibility for holding the 16-team event.

Caf said the decision was made after a meeting in Malabo on Friday between Equatorial Guinea’s president Teodoro Obiang and Caf president Issa Hayatou.

African football’s governing body also announced that Equatorial Guinea will play in the tournament – despite the team being disqualified in July for fielding an ineligible player in a preliminary qualifier against Mauritania on 17 May.

Hayatou said in a statement:  “The head of state of Equatorial Guinea agreed to host the competition.

“As a result, the Caf executive committee confirms that the tournament will go ahead and Equatorial Guinea will compete as the host nation.

“Caf wishes to express its sincere thanks to the Equatorial Guinean people, its government and particularly president Obiang.”

Matches will be held at four venues in Bata, Ebebiyin, Mongomo and the capital Malabo. In 2012, only Malabo and Bata were used.

The draw for the finals will be in Malabo on 3 December.

Read more at BBC Sport