Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00
Reuters: European champions Real Madrid turned on the party tricks as they sailed into the Club World Cup final by crushing Cruz Azul 4-0 on Tuesday.
Sergio Ramos (4) of Spain's Real Madrid celebrates with his teammates after scoring against Mexico's Cruz Azul during their semi-final soccer match in FIFA Club World Cup at Marrakech stadium
The Mexican side, with far more limited resources than the Spanish giants, did their best to make a game of it and missed a first-half penalty but were chasing shadows from the moment Gareth Bale headed the third goal five minutes into the second half.
Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema were on target in the opening half before Bale and Isco completed the scoring as Real received fanatical backing from the Marrakech crowd.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to get on the scoresheet but had the crowd in raptures in the second period when he met a cross on the half volley with a ‘rabona’ effort that goalkeeper Jose Corona did well to save.
Real, however, left themselves open to criticism for excessive showboating and even the initial enthusiasm of the fans died down as the game went on. They next meet South American champions San Lorenzo or Oceania champions Auckland City, who face each other on Wednesday, in Saturday’s final in Marrakech.