Football

Bale’s hat-trick puts Real Madrid in final

Mark three! Gareth Bale completes his hat-trick during the FIFA Club World Cup semifinal against Kashima Antlers.

Mark three! Gareth Bale completes his hat-trick during the FIFA Club World Cup semifinal against Kashima Antlers.   | Photo Credit: Francois Nel

Meets Al Ain FC on Saturday

Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid beat Japan’s Kashima Antlers 3-1 here on Wednesday to book a spot in the Club World Cup Final.

European champion Real will play host side Al Ain FC in the final on Saturday as it bids to win the title for the third year in a row and a record fourth in this competition.

Japan’s Kashima almost made a dream start inside two minutes with a close-range shot from Serginho that was saved by Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Bale opened the scoring in the 44th minute with a left-foot strike into the bottom corner of the net after playing a one-two with Marcelo.

Bale struck his second in the 53rd minute, taking advantage of a defensive mix-up that left the Kashima goal wide open, and the Wales forward made it 3-0 to the Spanish side two minutes later with a left-foot shot into the top corner.

Bale has now scored six goals in the tournament, trailing only his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo who has netted seven.

Asian champion Kashima, which grabbed a late consolation through Shoma Doi, will meet South American champion River Plate in the third-place playoff earlier on Saturday.

The result: Kashima Antlers 1 (Shoma Doi 78) lost to Real Madrid 3 (Bale 44, 53, 55).

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:32:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/bales-hat-trick-puts-real-madrid-in-final/article25791085.ece

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