Urawa beats African champion to claim fifth at Club World Cup

Kyodo

Yosuke Kashiwagi restored the lead and Mauricio finished it off with his second goal of the game Tuesday as Urawa Reds won the Club World Cup fifth-place playoff against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca 3-2.

After Mauricio opened the scoring for the reigning Asian champions in the 18th minute with a right-footed strike from long range, the African champions drew level with a free-kick equalizer from Ismail El Haddad three minutes later.

Kashiwagi put Reds in front again in the 26th and Brazilian defender Mauricio fired home the Japanese side’s third of the night in the 60th. Reda Hajhouj tucked away an injury-time penalty but it proved too little, too late for Wydad.

Urawa, which went down 1-0 to Al Jazira in a quarterfinal clash last weekend, ended its second Club World Cup appearance in fifth place.

“The players did a good job switching gears after the opening-game loss. We should’ve played better in the first match and delivered better results but I’m glad we were able to end on a winning note,” said Urawa manager Takafumi Hori.

Kashiwagi was named man of the match. The 29-year-old midfielder was also named Asian Champions League MVP last month and said at the time he felt undeserving of the award, but this time round he said “to be honest I think I deserved it today.”

Also on Tuesday, Keisuke Honda’s Pachuca, which reached the semifinals with an extra-time victory over Wydad Casablanca last Saturday, was defeated by Brazil’s Gremio 1-0.

Honda played the full 90 minutes for the Mexican side for the second straight game, but a 95th minute strike from substitute Everton saw Gremio lock up a match with the winner of Wednesday’s semifinal between Real Madrid and Al Jazira.

Pachuca will take on the loser of that match in the consolation match, which takes place Saturday at Zayed Sports City Stadium before the 9:00 p.m. final.