EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS BAYERN Munich booked their place in the Club World Cup final with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande in Tuesday’s semi-final in Agadir.
Goals by France winger Franck Ribery, Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic and Germany star Mario Goetze saw the German giants through to Saturday’s final in Marrakech, Morocco.
They will face the winners of Wednesday’s other semi-final between Morocco’s Raja Casablanca and Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro.
Having become the first German team to win the treble of European, Bundesliga and domestic cup titles, Bayern are closing in on their fifth title of 2013 having won UEFA’s Super Cup by beating Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out in August.
Already twice a winner of the Club World Cup title with his former club Barcelona, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola is on course for a third global crown as his German champions swept aside Marcello Lippi’s Guangzhou.
Bayern began in dominant fashion and never let up at Agadir Stadium with Thiago hitting the post and Toni Kroos hitting the woodwork early on and it was only a matter of time before the Chinese defence buckled.
Goal-line technology, being showcased at the Club World Cup and set to be used at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil, clearly proved Kroos’ 25th-minute shot, had bounced off the crossbar and onto the line, not over it.
Ribery, on the shortlist with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or, got the breakthrough Bayern craved when he drilled his shot past Guangzhou goalkeeper Zeng Cheng on 44 minutes.
A second followed four minutes later when Thiago swung in a pin-point cross across the goal face where Mandzukic finished it off with a diving header to make it 2-0 at the break.
With 47 minutes on the clock, Goezte put the result beyond doubt when he smashed in a long-range shot which gave Zeng no chance.
Despite enjoying around 70 percent possession, Bayern did not let up and having built up a healthy lead, they peppered the Evergrande goal with 27 shots compared to the Chinese’ two.
Having brought all available first-choice players to Morocco, injured pair Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben being the main exceptions, Guardiola kept both right winger Thomas Mueller and centre-back Dante for Saturday’s final.
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