Atletico Mineiro were shocked by Moroccan side Raja Casablanca, who won 3-1 to go through to the Club World Cup final.
Raja Casablanca is the 1st host to make Club World Cup final since the inaugural tournament in Brazil in 2000.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) December 18, 2013
The side from the host nation will now play Bayern Munich in the final on Sunday.
This semifinal started with chances for both teams, though neither goalkeeper was unduly troubled in the first half. Jo went close and Fernandinho screwed a shot wide for the Brazilians, while Mouhcine Moutaouali was always Raja's biggest threat.
The goals all came in the second half, with Mouhssine Iajour racing forward on the counter-attack to finish well with a low shot to open the scoring five minutes after the break.
Raja Casablanca looked full of fire and energy after that, but Ronaldinho quieted the home crowd with a sumptuous free-kick equaliser just after the hour mark.
Atletico Mineiro then looked as if they would control the game from that point, but they rarely tested the opposition goalkeeper enough and paid the price when Rever was booked for bringing down Iajour in the penalty area, with Moutaouali slotting away the resulting spot-kick.
With the losing side then forced to throw caution to the wind, Raja countered late in injury time and, after Moutaouali hit the bar, Vianney Mabide tapped into the empty net to leave the final score at 3-1.
Wow. Raja Casabalanca beat Atletico Mineiro will face Bayern for FIFA World Club Cup. Ronaldinho + Pep won't come face-to-face.— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) December 18, 2013
Key Player Grades
Comfortably Atletico Mineiro's biggest threat even without the acceleration to drift past players but, too often, there were not enough options for him to pass to in the final third. Great free-kick goal.
Mouhcine Moutaouali: B+
The most effervescent and exciting player on the pitch, Moutaouali had a big impact on his team's attacking ability and was always looking to break late into the box. A little reckless late on with his willingness to shoot rather than keep possession, but it ended well for him.
|Raja Casablanca Player Grades|
|Atletico Mineiro Player Grades|
Atletico Mineiro would have been second favourites before the tournament, but they exit with defeat in their only game. Raja Casablanca will play Bayern in the final.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!