ACL champions Urawa finish fifth in Club World Cup

Reigning Asian champions Urawa Red Diamonds have secured a fifth-place finish in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup after beating Wydad Casablanca 3-2 in Tuesday’s playoff.

It was Urawa who opened the scoring after 17 minutes in stunning fashion, as defender Mauricio Antonio received possession 40 yards out from goal and proceeded to unleash a rocket of a strike into the far corner.

Nonetheless, the Moroccan side equalised three minutes later when Ismail Haddad’s right-wing freekick sailed over a sea of players and crept inside the back post.

The Reds did reclaim the lead in the 25th minute following a neat interchange of passes, which eventually saw Rafael Silva lifting the ball over opposition keeper Badreddine Benachour to leave Yosuke Kashiwagi with a simple header into the unguarded net.

A minute before the hour mark, Mauricio extended his side’s lead with his second of the evening, pouncing on a loose ball inside the box and making no mistake in firing home from just before the penalty spot.

Wydad did manage to reduce the deficit deep into injury-time when Reda Hajhouj converted from the penalty spot, after Youssef Rabeh had been dragged down inside the area by Yuki Abe.

Nonetheless, it was a case of too little too late for the African representatives as Urawa held on to seal fifth spot in the tournament, earning some consolation after their disappointing loss to Al Jazira in the quarter-finals.

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