Gulf Times: Spaniard Angel Berlanga, a centre-back who played in Spain’s fourth category at Rayo Majadahonda

Angel Berlanga (L) challenges Mohamed Benyettou of ES Sétif (AAP)

Angel Berlanga (L) challenges Mohamed Benyettou of ES Sétif (AAP)

( Argentinian club San Lorenzo needed extra time on Wednesday to get past lowly Auckland City in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-finals but eventually won the match 2-1 to set up a final against Real Madrid. San Lorenzo, a Buenos Aires club famously supported by Pope Francis, pulled ahead with a half-volley goal from midfielder Pablo Barrientos just before the break in Marrakech. Spaniard Angel Berlanga, a centre-back who played in Spain’s fourth category at Rayo Majadahonda, equalized for the New Zealand club in the 67th minute, and the match went to extra time. Just three minutes into additional time, however, veteran striker Mauro Matos made things 2-1 for the South Americans, who won the first Copa Libertadores in their history earlier this year.


Angel Berlanga, number five

“First things first: our great goal was to get to the final, and we made it,” San Lorenzo coach Edgardo Bauza said. He admitted, though: “We did not play a good match.” Indeed, the match was somewhat crazy. Both teams hit the woodwork, and San Lorenzo hardly seemed to be too far above their opponents. Bauza praised the New Zealand club, most of whose players have another job beyond football and which has an annual budget of just 1 million dollars but is playing its fourth Club World Cup in succession. “They held onto the ball well,” Bauza said. Matos said he and his team-mates knew the match would be tough, though they had hoped to win it in 90 minutes. “Maybe we’re made for that, for suffering. Perhaps we enjoy it more that way,” he said. Around 7,000 San Lorenzo fans were cheering on site in Marrakech at the Grand Stade, which was far from full.  Things will doubtless be tougher for the Argentinian side tomorrow against Real Madrid. The European Champions League winners are on a 22-match winning streak and beat Mexico’s Cruz Azul 4-0 on Tuesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Algerian club ES Setif beat Sydney’s SW Wanderers in a long penalty shoot-out to get fifth place in the Club World Cup. The 90 minutes of regular play in Marrakech ended 2-2. Dutch winger Romeo Castelen opened the score for the Australian side just five minutes into the game, but an own goal from Daniel Mullen and a goal from Abdelmalik Ziaya in the second half appeared to give Setif the consolation prize. However, Brazilian Vitor Saba’s late free-kick was enough to send the match to the penalty shoot-out. Each side needed to take an unusual eight shots after they each missed two of their initial five efforts, and the Algerian side prevailed 5-4.

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