Bayern beats Raja to win Club World Cup

Bayern Munich capped the greatest year in club history by

beating Raja Casablanca 2-0 Saturday for its first Club World

Cup.

The European champion added a record fifth title to its trophy

cabinet at the tournament of continental champions to go with the

Champions League, Bundesliga, German Cup, and European Super Cup

triumphs.

”I think we knew how to approach each game and that was key,”

said coach Pep Guardiola, who won the event for the third time,

including twice before with Barcelona. ”The first 25 minutes we

played very well. After that we forgot to attack.”

Bayern won the first of two Intercontinental Cups – the

forerunner to this event – exactly 37 years ago.

Dante scored early to deflate the Moroccan hosts at Marrakech

Stadium, and Thiago Alcantara put the Bavarians in command with his

22nd-minute goal.

Raja, which beat Copa Libertadores champion Atletico Mineiro in

the semifinals, used its speed on the break and came close to

scoring but couldn’t keep up with the German champions and their

deep lineup of international players.

”It is the greatest team in the world with the greatest coach.

We believed in our means but we were not lucky today,” Raja coach

Faouzi Benzarti said. ”We were not aggressive enough. And we were

playing giants.”

Earlier, 10-man Atletico beat Asian champion Guangzhou 3-2 to

finish third. Luan scored a stoppage time winner following

Ronaldinho’s 88th-minute red card.

Guardiola, who replaced Jupp Heynckes in the summer following

the first three title wins, improved his overall record to 6-1 in

one-game finals.

”This title belongs to Jupp. I just tried to keep alive

everything he did,” Guardiola said. ”You can’t compare these

triumphs, they’re all different.”

Raja was cheered by a crowd of 37,747 that included King

Mohammed VI of Morocco, but it couldn’t muster enough to break

through.

Guardiola made three changes to the team that defeated Guangzhou

Evergrande of China 3-0 in the semifinals, with Dante replacing

slow-footed central defender Daniel van Buyten to keep up with

Raja’s speedy forwards.

Dante made an immediate impact as the Brazil international

gathered teammate Jerome Boateng’s headed corner inside the box to

blast it past goalkeeper Khalid Askri seven minutes after the

start.

Raja’s defense was again scrambling in the 22nd when David Alaba

laid a pass onto Thiago’s run into the area to sidefoot a powerful

shot beyond Askri.

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