East Asia Japan

Brilliant City Overcome Brave Urawa to Earn CWC Final Spot

Manchester City booked their spot in the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup final after overcoming a stubborn Urawa Red Diamonds 3-0 in Tuesday’s semifinal at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City.

Pep Guardiola’s City side had to endure a resilient Urawa defense in the first half before finally finding their way just before half-time after Urawa defender Marius Hoibraten had inadvertently directed a Matheus Nunes pass his own goalkeeper.

Prior to that City had squandered plenty of chances of going ahead, after Bernardo Silva, Nunes, Phil Foden and Rodri had tested a brilliant Shusaku Nishikawa in the Urawa goal, however the late own-goal gave the Cityzens a platform to build upon in the second half.

And City did just that after the break, completely dominating an off-color Urawa as they stamped their authority as the champions of Europe.

In the 52nd minute, Kyle Walker split the Urawa defense open with a diagonal pass, before Mateo Kovacic – who had won the CWC three times, twice with Real Madrid and once with Chelsea – slammed home past Nishikawa to double City’s lead.

The win was then secured in the 59th minute, with Silva firing from the edge of the penalty area and into Nishikawa’s goal.

Despite their best efforts, Urawa were unable to test Ederson in the City goal, with the J.League 1 side failing to register a shot on target throughout the match.

Brazilian side Fluminense had beaten Egypt’s Al-Ahly 2-0 in the other semifinal on Monday, setting up the 13th clash between Europe and South America in the Club World Cup’s showpiece match, which will be played on Friday. Prior to that, however, Urawa have a shot to claim third in this year’s competition as they took on Al-Ahly in Friday’s early kick-off.