River raid Antlers to finish third in Club World Cup

River raid Antlers to finish third in Club World Cup
River Plate's Bruno Zuculini celebrates his goal during the Fifa Club World Cup match at Zayed Sports City Stadium.

Abu Dhabi - Both sides made quite a few changes to their squads.



By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 22 Dec 2018, 7:37 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Dec 2018, 1:55 PM

River Plate demolished Kashima Antlers 4-0 to clinch the third spot of the Fifa Club World Cup UAE 2018 on Saturday.
River Plate fans turned up in numbers and created a carnival atmosphere in the Zayed Sports City. No wonder the Copa Libertadores champions are keen to reach Buenos Aires for the title party.
And both sides made quite a few changes to their squads. While River revamped side with some seven new names, Kashima shored up defence but at the end it didn't help.
River blasted off with Borre and teenager Julian Alvarez testing Kashima defence with barrage of attacks.
In a major setback, Kashima keeper Kwoun Suntae was injured following a challenge from Borre and in 23 minutes and was replaced with Hitoshi Sogahata. It was a harsh welcome for the new keeper as Bruno Zuculini headed in a sharp corner from Nicolas Cruz.
Even as the match was played entirely in Kashima's half, they momentarily made visits to River box. And just before the half-time, Kashima were unfortunate not to score as Anzai's efforts crashed into crossbar.
At the stroke of the hour, Borre found back of net but was ruled offside. Kashima pushed and in 63 minutes came close as Shoma Doi tricked defenders but his shot was parried away by keeper German Lux. Just 10 minutes later River scored another as substitute Gonzalo Martinez, in his final match with River, converted inside the box.
Kashima made a final push but were denied twice by crossbar through efforts from Doi and Ryota Nagaki. And River scored a third one through a penalty by Borre who was fouled by Tomoya Inukai. In additional time, Martinez made it 4-0 with an unassuming lob inside the box to complete the rout.
The final flourish started a wave of celebrations for River Plate which will continue in Buenos Aires as they reach home with Copa trophy.
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

GOALS:
River Plate: Bruno Zuculini (24), Gonzalo Martinez (73, 90+), Santos Borre (89 P)


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