Corinthians stun Chelsea to win world title

JIM ARMSTRONG
Last updated 06:36 17/12/2012
Corinthians
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CHAMPIONS: Corinthians players celebrate after Paolo Guerrero's match winning goal.

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Peruvian striker Paolo Guerrero scored in the 69th minute to give Corinthians a 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the final of the Club World Cup.

After the Brazilian team withstood steady pressure from Chelsea, Paulinho broke into the box and laid the ball off to Danilo, whose shot deflected off a defender before Guerrero stole in to head the looping ball past goalkeeper Petr Cech.

This victory is the result of teamwork, each player played his own role," said Corinthians coach Tite. "There were a lot of elements to this victory. We created many chances and it was a high quality match for us. We used our marking system in the second half, we did get tired but we stayed calm."

The Copa Libertadores champions joined Barcelona as the only teams to win the tournament twice, adding to their first title in 2000.

The loss adds to recent disappointments for Chelsea, which became the first European champions since 2006 to not win the Club World Cup and this month became the first defending champion to be eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League.

"You could see today from the first minute it was going to be tough, they were very physical and organised," said Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez, who was coaching in his third Club World Cup final. "We had many chances but their 'keeper was man of the match."

Chelsea was reduced to 10 men when Gary Cahill was given a straight red card for a rough challenge on Emerson in the final minute of regulation. Fernando Torres headed in a goal in injury time but it was ruled offside.

The Brazilians had Cassio to thank for keeping them level with some fine goalkeeping in the first half.

Chelsea went close in the 11th minute on a close-range effort by Cahill but Cassio kept the ball from crossing the line with a diving save.

He came up big again in the 39th when he dove to his left to knock away an angled shot from Victor Moses with one hand.

Emerson blazed a through ball over the crossbar from the top of the area in the 29th for Corinthians' best chance of the first half.

Frank Lampard, in only his third game back from a six-week injury layoff, was a surprise starter for Chelsea.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Lampard said. "They were very organised on counterattack. It was disappointing to come all the way out here and not win it."

The tournament was the first to feature goal-line technology. Magnetic-field-based system GoalRef was used at Yokohama Stadium while Toyota Stadium was equipped with the camera-based Hawk-Eye system but neither came into play.

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Earlier, Mexican club Monterrey defeated Al-Ahly of Egypt 2-0 to capture third place.

- AP

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