THE TOURNAMENT REPLAYED – Absolute Madrid took the honours at the FIFA Club Apple Cup Japan 2016 to accomplish it three titles for the year. In appropriation the bays for a additional time, Los Merengues continued Europe’s ascendancy of the competition, with the abstemious accepting now provided nine of its 13 champions.
“Kashima afraid us. They’ve got players who could calmly play in Spain,” said Los Blancos drillmaster Zinedine Zidane afterwards a hard-fought final. “The important affair was, though, that we came through and were champions.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick, which accursed him to the adidas Golden Ball, gave the European champions a rather ambiguous 4-2 win over abruptness finalists Kashima Antlers for Fifa 17 Coins, who fell abaft afterwards nine account but came aback to yield the beforehand and afresh pin their opponents adjoin the ropes at the end of accustomed time. It was alone in added time that Ronaldo concluded the hopes of the J.League champions, for whom goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata had a superb tournament.
One of the affidavit why Madrid endured such a cheeky night was the air-conditioned finishing of Gaku Shibasaki, with Keylor Navas, who had acclaimed his 30th altogether with a about airy semi-final airing adjoin Club America, accepting to plan actual harder absolutely to accumulate the Japanese club at bay.
Disciplined, tactically adroit and physically able with it, Masatada Ishii’s Kashima ancillary showed adjoin the Spanish giants that their run to the final was no fluke. It ability acquire looked that way in their aperture match, if they bare a backward champ to see off Auckland City, who, on their seventh actualization in the competition, fell in the aboriginal annular already again. The host club showed what they were fabricated of, however, adjoin Mamelodi Sundowns, assertive the African champions to beforehand to the semi-finals, breadth they stepped up accession accessory in seeing off Copa Libertadores winners Atletico Nacional.
That 3-0 defeat of the Colombians in Osaka was one of the shocks of the affray and saw the Video Abettor Referee arrangement appear into use for the actual aboriginal time at a FIFA tournament, with video technology accepting acclimated in application the amends that set the Japanese ancillary on the alley to victory. As harder as they tried, El Verdolaga were clumsy to acquisition a weakness in the Kashima armour, with the host ancillary endlessly tracking and closing down their opponents afore landing knockout assault in the closing stages.
That defeat for Reinaldo Rueda’s men was a attenuate one for South America, whose assembly acquire alone bootless to beforehand to the Club Apple Cup final on three occasions, with Europe’s champions alone missing out on one, the actual aboriginal of them all.