Brazil’s Corinthians beat England’s Chelsea 1-0 in the final of soccer’s FIFA Club World Cup to end a run of five straight titles for European teams.
Paolo Guerrero got the only goal at the International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan, as Corinthians won the competition for a second time. They won the inaugural title in 2000.
Chelsea’s Gary Cahill was red-carded in the 90th minute of yesterday’s game.
The last South American champion was Brazil’s Internacional in 2006. Since then Barcelona had lifted the trophy twice, with AC Milan, Manchester United and Inter Milan also winners.
“I took a photo with this trophy in 2010,” Corinthians coach Tite told reporters. “I didn’t know if I would ever hold it. Now I have it and I am very happy.”
Sao Paulo-based Corinthians secured a spot in the tournament after winning their first Copa Libertadores title in South America. The champions of each continent’s soccer federation compete for the Club World Cup, with this year’s seventh participant Sanfrecce Hiroshima, winner of Japan’s J-League.
Guerrero scored after 69 minutes with a close-range header after reacting more quickly than Chelsea’s defenders.
Chelsea had opportunities to score late in the game, but Fernando Torres was only able to hit a shot straight at goalkeeper Cassio with about five minutes remaining.
Cahill was then dismissed following a clash with Emerson, although the English team continued to press. Torres headed the ball into the net in injury time only to see his effort ruled out for offside. Juan Mata then tried to score from an acute angle.
“We knew it would be a tough game against a good team,” said Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez, who led Inter Milan to the title in 2010. “I think they had one chance and they scored and we didn’t take our chances. That was the difference.”
The defeat halts an improved run of results by Chelsea of three straight wins in all competitions. The west London team hired Benitez after firing Roberto Di Matteo last month.
Earlier yesterday, Mexico’s Monterrey defeated Al-Ahly of Egypt 2-0 in the third-place match. Jesus Corona and Cesar Delgado got the goals.