Bayern beats Guangzhou 3-0 to cruise into Club World Cup final
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Bayern Munich crushed Guangzhou Evergrande from China 3-0 on Tuesday to reach the final of the World Club Cup.
In its opening game in the tournament for the continental champions, Pep Guardiola's Bayern dominated from the start in Agadir, Morocco, but did not take the lead until Frank Ribéry scored in the 40th minute. Manduka added a second with a diving header four minutes later. Mario Gotze added the third with a powerful shot after 49 minutes.
After that, Bayern cruised to victory. The Germans enjoyed more than 70 per cent of possession and had 27 attempts on goal while allowing Guangzhou just two, neither of them on target.
Guangzhou qualified for the tournament by winning the Asian Champions League when it beat FC Seoul on away goals in the final in October. It beat Al Ahly of Cairo, the African champion, in a quarter final in Agadir on Saturday.
As European champion, Bayern was given a bye to the semi-final. Its Champions League triumph in May was part of a treble of trophies which also included the German Bundesliga and the German Cup under coach Jupp Heynkes.
It has continued its winning form this season under Guardiola, collecting the European Super Cup in August. Both Guardiola and his new club have been world club champions twice before.
Bayern won the predecessor Intercontinental Cup in 1976 and 2001. Guardiola won the competition in 2009 and 2011 with Barcelona. He would become the first coach to win the tournament three times, but he seemed unmoved by the prospect ahead of the semi-final, insisting he was just finishing Heynkes’ work.
“Jupp did a good job and that is why I am here. It's not particularly special,” Guardiola said on Tuesday. “I would like to win for the players, who won everything last year. And I would like to win for Bayern.”
Marcello Lippi, the coach of the losing team on Tuesday, had also won the Intercontinental Cup as a coach. He led Juventus to victory in 1996.
In the final, Bayern will face either South American champion Atletico Mineiro of Brazil or host club Raja Casablanca, who play in Marrakech on Wednesday.
The final is on Saturday in Marrakech.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)