Ronaldo hat-trick wins Real Madrid’s club world cup
A lacklustre Real Madrid team laboured to a 4-2 victory over a spirited Kashima side after extra-time, with Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick.
The Champions League holders were far from their best and almost fell victim to a great shock in the Club World Cup final against Japanese side Kashima Antlers.
Zinedine Zidane’s side took the lead early on when Karim Benzema pounced on a rebound from Luca Modric’s volley and from there it seemed as though Madrid were in for a comfortable evening in Japan.
Things did look comfortable until the very end of the first half, when Real Madrid were stunned by an equalising goal from the Japanese side. Kashima’s Shibasaki guided a left-footed half-volley past Keylor Navas just before half time, meaning the teams went in level at the break.
Shibasaki then did the unthinkable in the second half and put Kashima ahead. The Japan international midfielder found the bottom corner with a well struck low effort from outside the area to make it 2-1 to the underdogs.
Real Madrid were then thankful to Cristiano Ronaldo who ended up bagging a hat-trick to save the day for ‘Los Blancos’. The Portuguese forward fired home a penalty after Lucas Vazquez was clearly fouled in the area.
The match finished 2-2 after 90 minutes, meaning that extra-time was played.
Kashima continued to fight but Ronaldo took the game away from the spirited Japansese side. The Ballon d’Or winner converted from close range after receiving a pass from Karim Benzema and sealed his hat-trick and the victory in the first half of extra-time.
The victory means that Real Madrid win their second Club World Cup in three years and Zindane has also gone 37 games unbeaten with Madrid, despite a relatively lacklustre display.
Meanwhile, Kashima have had an evening to cherish and will be proud of their efforts in defeat