ASIAN CHAMP LOSTS BUT SURPRISES THE WORLD ENOUGH
As you expected, Sao Paulo FC beat Al Ittihad with 3-2 to advance to the Final of the FIFA Club World Championship TOYOTA Cup Japan 2005. The Brazilian team, however, might have been surprised at the big scoring power the Saudi Arabian team had, of course I was.
Copa Libertadores Champion developed effective attacks at the 1st half when Brazilian international Cicinho from the right found striker Amoroso to connect an opening goal. Then AFC CL Champion was patience to wait for the oppotunity to score when Sierra Leone international Kallon's shot shed the hands of goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni and Mohammed Noor brought it in the goal.
In the beginning of the 2nd half, Sao Paulo's concentration to add points leaded to Amoroso's second goal and following a penalty call he got, which Rogerio Ceni connected with the 3rd goal for Paulo Autuori's team. Anghel Iordanescu's men didn't give up the game to get a chance to spotkick from the right. There was Hamad Al Montashari, who was named the AFC player of the year 2005. The Saudi Arabian defender headed the ball in, which from Brazilian Tcheco's free-kick midfielder Mohammed Haidar changed the course. Asian dream was over but their good fight would means the success in this tournament. I expect a victory in the 3rd place match.
Sao Paulo FC meets UEFA CL Champion at Yokohama while Al Ittihad faces CONCACAF CL Champion at the same on next Sunday.
FIFA Club World Championship
TOYOTA Cup Japan 2005
Semifinal at Tokyo (14 Dec)
Al Ittihad 2-3 Sao Paulo FC
(1-3)57' ROGERIO CENI(p)
(2-3)68' AL MONTASHARI