Sports

Heroic Al Jazira fall just short of causing stunning upset

Heroic Al Jazira fall just short of causing stunning upset”

"Messi! Messi" rang out around the Zayed Sports City stadium.

A stunning performance saw the Pride of Abu Dhabi lead the UEFA Champions League champions 1-0 at half-time, in a display that will have won them fans the world over.

Real Madrid avoided humiliation against Al Jazira as Gareth Bale's late victor earned them a 2-1 victory and a place in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup.

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"This was a dream come true for me".

Luka Modric, who played a vital role in the build-up, squared it to Ronaldo, who beat Khaled Al Senaani with a brilliant shot into the bottom left corner to level the scores 1:1.

"It is not going to be easy for us".

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Benzema was jeered off against Al Jazira after he squandered several chances, his replacement Gareth Bale going on to score Madrid's victor in a 2-1 victory with his first touch, but Zidane made it clear he would stand by his fellow Frenchman.

"We are immensely proud of the support the people of the UAE have given throughout the tournament", said Aref Hamed Al Awani, Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC). "They reinforce the value of sport and engender significant national pride".

Until then Madrid had lacked the same killer instinct as last season with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scoring a combined total of just six times in La Liga, while Gareth Bale has made just one brief appearance as a substitute since September. The victor, scored by super sub Gareth Bale, sealed the end of the dream for Al Jazira.

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Saakashvili rejects the allegations, pointing to his long record of opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But supporters blocked the streets and pulled him from the vehicle, and he led a march to parliament.

With the win, Zinedine Zidane's men will now face Brazilian side Gremio in Saturday's final, as they hope to lift the title for the third time.



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