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América v Real Madrid Live Commentary, 15/12/2016

0 - 2
K. Benzema (45+2)
Cristiano Ronaldo (90+3)
Nissan Stadium


Real Madrid march on to the Club World Cup final thanks to a pretty straightforward 2-0 win over Mexican side Club America. The CONCACAF Champions League winners gave it their all but were ultimately short of Madrid's star quality, with Cristiano Ronaldo wrapping up victory late on to set up a clash with Kashima Antlers on Sunday.
Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
GOAL!!! MADRID WRAP THINGS UP! There's a bit of confusion as the referee initially appears to gesture for the video referee, but ultimately the goal is given as Ronaldo secures the Madrid win, latching on to a pass into the right side of the penalty area before blasting under Munoz.
J. Rodríguez
Real Madrid
Assist James David Rodríguez Rubio
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
Clumsy tackle from Nacho, as he bundles into Quintero and hauls him down. Out comes the yellow card.
There will be three minutes added on now.
America's challenge is almost up. In the end Madrid's superior quality has simply shone through and it would be a major shock if the Mexicans - who have not threatened much at all - grabbed an equaliser now.
Still Madrid pour men forward and Vazquez's cross causes some problems as it deflects up into the air. Valdez is there to head it away, though.
Despite staring defeat in the face, America aren't looking any more likely in attack. Madrid are doing a good job of tightening their grip in midfield, while their opposition can't many passes together when on the offensive.
Madrid tear forward again down the right, with Vazquez getting into the right side of the area and dispatching a shot, but Aguilar makes a good block.
Álvaro Morata
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
Benzema has run his race and makes way for Morata.
Better from America. Arroyo does well out on the left and manages to dig a cross into the centre, but it's just a little too heavy for Peralta to get on to.
We are into the final 15 minutes in Yokohama now. America have generally ridden the storm quite well - can they profit and take this to extra-time?
Good play by Benzema, as he attacks down the left and finds Ronaldo on the edge of the box. He looks to Vazquez, who tees up Modric 20 yards out and his first-time effort is gobbled up by Munoz.
J. Rodríguez
T. Kroos
Real Madrid
A first substitution for Madrid now. James Rodriguez comes on for the typically excellent Kroos.
M. Arroyo
S. Romero
Here comes America's third switch before Madrid have even made one. Arroyo, a quick forward, made a strong impact from the bench in the quarter-finals and he replaces Romero.
Madrid are starting to turn the screw. America began the second half quite positively and saw a decent amount of the ball initially, but Zidane's men are now in complete control.
AMERICA ESCAPE! What a miss from Ronaldo, as he heads the ball back across the face of goal with an open goal at his mercy. Modric pounces on the loose ball, but his overhead kick goes just wide.
Ronaldo takes a tumble, as Valdez outmuscles him and rather unceremoniously barges him off the pitch while shepherding the ball out of play. The Portugal star's ego may be a little bruised, but he'll be fine.
Good play by Romero out wide, as he wins a free-kick from Romero. Sambueza takes the resulting set-piece out on the right and whips a fierce delivery into the danger zone, but Navas palms it away.
D. Quintero
R. Ibarra
Second America switch now, with Ibarra replaced by the very quick and tricky Darwin Quintero.
Good block! America are caught out at the back, as Ronaldo feeds Vazquez up the right. He cuts the ball back to the edge of the area for Ronaldo and sends a stinging drive towards goal, but Goltz gets in the way.
That's poor from Benzema. Madrid sensed the chance to break on America after Peralta surrendered possession, but the Frenchman's pass through for Ronaldo is well overhit and runs to Munoz.
Excellent play by Valdez, as he darts up the right and prods the ball past Nacho. He races on to it and cuts a cross back towards the edge of the area. It eventually comes through to Samudio, whose pass to Romero is poor and gives Madrid a chance to counter.
J. Guerrero
V. Alvarado
First change of the match now, as Alvarado is replaced by Guerrero. That's like-for-like in midfield.
Ronaldo amuses the crowd again with a drag and step-over combination out on the right. It doesn't get him anywhere, but probably riled Samudio a little.
Good delivery from Kroos, who drops the free-kick into the danger zone. Benzema meets it with a header, but it goes well wide of the target.
Samudio again lucky to avoid getting booked, as he rather cynically barges Vazquez over about 30 yards from goal. Free-kick given and Kroos stands over it.
The margins are so small today. Madrid spring a great opportunity out of nothing thanks to a marvelous Modric pass, but luckily America stepped up just in time to catch Ronaldo offside.
Promising start to the second half for America, who are seeing a good amount of possession in the attacking half.
Off we go for the second half.
Madrid take a hard-earned 1-0 lead into the break thanks to Benzema's late effort. The Spaniards have been the dominant side, with America registering little pressure. But Ronaldo and company had struggled to penetrate the opposition's defence until the goal. Can America react and become a more attack-minded entity after the break?
T. Kroos
Real Madrid
Lovely play by Kroos, who spots Goltz's move out from the backline and feeds Benzema.
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
GOAL!!! MADRID HAVE THE LEAD! Lovely play by Madrid, as they patiently work the ball across the pitch. Eventually Kroos takes up possession just outside the area and he prods it through to Benzema, who produces a cool finish into the top-right corner.
There will be one minute added on so far.
Good cross from Marcelo, who is looking for Benzema. But Alvarado is there to get in the away and volley clear. America have defended very well so far.
Excellent defending from America. Ronaldo gets into the box but is forced to back-heel to Modric due to Aguilar's pressure. The Crotian takes up possession, but Goltz is on him in a flash, making the tackle and clearing.
America's defence is certainly doing a good job of playing Madrid offside so far today. This time it is Benzema who is caught in the trap, bringing a promising move to an end.
Not one of Sambueza's better pass, as the midfielder's lofted effort from the free-kick towards the edge of the area is easily cut out by Kroos and Madrid break. He bides his time and then tries to find the run of Ronaldo, but Da Silva covers well at the back to see out the danger.
America's corner comes to little, but they remain on the front foot, as Romero comes out to the left and wins a free-kick from Carvajal.
America break now, as Da Silva is released beyond the Madrid defence towards the left. He gets into the area and fires at Navas, who spills the ball behind for a corner.
Big chance wasted for Madrid! Kroos does brilliantly towards the right, shimmying to his left before then playing a through pass towards Carvajal. The defender has both Ronaldo and Benzema to aim for wide open in the area, but he screws his low delivery right into the arms of Munoz.
CLOSE! Lovely football from Madrid. Ronaldo heads towards the left and offloads to Vazquez, before continuing his run into the box and receiving the winger's return pass. He gets on to it and flashes the ball across the face of goal, but no one is there to turn it in.
Yes! Ronaldo's free-kick goes straight into the wall, but it bounces back to him and he unleashes a ferocious left-footed half-volley which forces Munoz into action. Benzema burries the rebound, but he and three others were well offside.
Free-kick just outside the America box now, as Vazquez is flattened by Samudio. Ronaldo wonders over... Another one straight into the wall?
A moment of danger for Madrid to contend with now, as Samudio's pass in towards the edge of the box finds Romero. His first touch is heavy, but he manages to keep hold of it before eventually firing left-footed into the side-netting.
Real Madrid are certainly pleasing the crowd with a plethora of fancy flicks, but it's not getting them very far at the moment!
OFF THE POST! Samudio is robbed in the America half an Madrid are on it in a flash. Ronaldo feeds Vazquez up the right and then meets the eventual cross himself, heading it on to the frame of the goal. Benzema collects the rebound but hesitates and Goltz blocks his effort.
Madrid win themselves another free-kick, this time further out wide as Da Silva knocks Vazquez to the ground. The set-piece comes to nothing, though, as America clear their lines.
Ronaldo wastes the free-kick, however. His effort is drilled straight into the wall and America escape unscathed.
R. Sambueza
Yellow Card
Madrid look to catch America on the break and Ronaldo darts forward all alone. Sambueza gets back and appears to get a touch on the ball, but he is ultimately booked for nudging the Ballon d'Or winner over 30 yards from the Mexicans' goal.
Great pressing from the Mexicans! Casemiro is robbed and then Ibarra is teed up on the edge of the box, with his low drive forcing Navas into action. It's an easy save, though.
Brilliant pass under pressure in the centre from Sambueza, as he clips the ball out to the left with the outside of his left foot. Samudio receives it and runs at Carvajal, who manages to get a touch on the cross and then Varane fully clears it.
The corner is played short, before being returned to Kroos. He clips a cross in towards the near post which is headed away by Sambueza and America then force Madrid all the way back to Navas.
Marcelo is getting a lot of freedom out wide. This time he links with Benzema, getting the ball back from the Frenchman before finding himself surrounded and he wins a corner.
Nearly a first opening for Ronaldo, as he runs in behind the America defence to latch on to Vazquez's through pass, but he is flagged offside.
Good play by Ibarra, as the winger races up the right and gets behind Marcelo. He cuts the ball back to the edge of the area, but Alvarado's right-footed effort curls wide of the mark.
America escape! Vazquez does really well to pounce on to Da Silva's poor pass in the left side of the Mexicans' box, before skipping past one challenge. But Goltz does really well, getting himself between the winger and the ball, securing a goal-kick. La Volpe's men definitely don't need to give their illustrious visitors a helping hand with cheap mistakes like that!
One thing very apparent during the early exchanges is America's very intense pressing. They aren't giving Madrid players any time in possession and they have already forced a couple of errors in the centre from Casemiro.
The Madrid corner is cleared easily by America, but only as far as Vazquez just outside the area. He latches on to the ball and volleys it goalwards, before ultimately slicing it well off target.
Danger at the other end for America to contend with now. Marcelo is given way too much space and he swings a cross in from deep, looking for Ronaldo. The striker is tracked by two centre-backs and Goltz clears behind for a corner.
That's a decent delivery from Sambueza, as his left-footed corner is nodded on by an America player at the team-mate. Eventually it falls to Da Silva, who takes on Marcelo and squeezes a low cross into the danger zone which is easily cleared.
Good play by America, who work the ball across from the right with Da Silva, finding captain Sambueza out on the left. He tries to take Carvajal on but has to be satisfied with a corner.
Unsurprisingly it is Real Madrid enjoying all of the early possession. Carvajal tries to play them into the final third, searching for Vazquez's run up the right, but Pablo Aguilar shepherds it out of play well.
Well that's something of a rude welcoming to the match. Within 20 seconds hard-tackling Paraguayan midfielder Samudio goes flying in on Vazquez, taking him out rather brutally from behind. Somehow he escapes a booking.
Off we go! America get us started.
The teams are out at the Nissan Stadium and kick-off is just a few moments away.
In Ricardo La Volpe, America have a coach renowned in Central and South America for his attacking football, as well as his enigmatic and volatile personality. Zidane will expect few pre-match pleasantries from the superstitious Argentinian World Cup-winning goalkeeper, with La Volpe insisting he won't be shaking hands with anyone associated with Real Madrid before kick-off as he believes it will bring his team bad luck.
Madrid will not be expecting America to make things easy for them, however. The Mexicans have not lost any of their last 16 matches in 90 minutes across all competitions, while they showed their character and spirit with a late turnaround against Jeonbuk Motors in the quarter-finals - Silvio Romero scoring twice late on to secure the 2-1 win and their passage to the semis.
Of course, Madrid need to introduction today. Although they did not win LaLiga last term, they have had a brilliant 2016, losing just twice since Zidane's January appointment. So far this term they have shrugged off any reservations or criticisms relating to their coach and already look good value for the title, sitting six points clear of Barcelona with 15 games played.
Zinedine Zidane has a wealth of talent both on the pitch and in reserve. Raphael Varane and Nacho Fernandez create an unfamiliar central pairing, with both Sergio Ramos and Pepe left on the bench today. In midfielder Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kross is as strong as it gets, while Lucas Vazquez is the one chosen to support Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in attack.
All eyes will undoubtedly be on Cristiano Ronaldo today - as if they aren't usually anyway! The Portugal star has enjoyed a tremendous 2016 and added a personal accolade in the Ballon d'Or to the Euro 2016 and Champions League titles which he won with his country and Madrid, respectively. No doubt he will be eager to mastermind the Spanish giants' bid for the global crown this week, starting with Mexico's biggest club today.
Real Madrid subs: Yanez, Casilla, Pepe, Ramos, James, Coentrao, Kovacic, Mariano, Asensio, Morata, Isco, Danilo.
Real Madrid starting XI (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Lucas, Benzema, Ronaldo.
America subs: Gonzalez, Buron, Pimental, Guemez, Martinez, Arroyo, Leon, Mares, Guerrero, Quintero, Alvarez.
America starting XI (4-3-3): Munoz; Alvarado, Valdez, Goltz, Aguilar; Samudio, Da Silva; Sambueza; Ibarra, Peralta, Romero.
First of all, let's introduce the teams...
Hello and welcome to the LIVE coverage of the Club World Cup semi-final between Club America and Real Madrid. I will be describing the action for you today as these two sides go head-to-head in Yokohama for the right to reach this year's final.