Antlers stun Na­cional to reach world fi­nal

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Ja­panese cham­pi­ons Kashima Antlers beat Atletico Na­cional 3-0 in the Club World Cup semi­fi­nals yes­ter­day thanks to a first-ever penalty awarded af­ter video re­play.

Hun­gar­ian ref­eree Vik­tor Kas­sai made soc­cer his­tory when he used video to is­sue the penalty kick in the first half. Kashima mid­fielder Gaku Shibasaki sent in a free kick in the 31st minute, and team­mate Daigo Nishi was fouled in­side the box by Atletico Na­cional for­ward Or­lando Ber­rio.

Kas­sai walked to the side­lines to get an­other look at the play on a mon­i­tor. He then sig­naled for Kashima to take a penalty. Shoma Doi con­verted for 1-0. Ya­sushi Endo and Yuma Suzuki added sec­ond-half goals to send Kashima to the fi­nal on Sun­day against ei­ther Real Madrid or Club Amer­ica.

“It did stop the flow of the game,” Kashima coach Masa­tada Ishii said. “But if they make a clear judg­ment us­ing video as­sis­tant ref­er­ees (VARs) then that is a good thing. Of course, if they use it many times dur­ing a game then that is some­thing we need to think about.”

The re­play sys­tem al­lows ref­er­ees to halt games to re­view footage of “gamechang­ing de­ci­sions.” They can also rely on in­for­ma­tion be­ing fed by VARs watch­ing broad­cast feeds away from the field.The South Amer­i­can cham­pion dom­i­nated the first half but the mo­men­tum shifted to Kashima with the his­tory-mak­ing call.

Live tests are set to be ex­panded glob­ally in 2017 with a de­ci­sion an­tic­i­pated by the fol­low­ing year on VARs be­com­ing a per­ma­nent fea­ture. FIFA Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino, who has ob­served re­cent off-line tri­als with VARs at Italy games, wants video re­plays in use at the 2018 World Cup in Rus­sia.The sys­tem was in­tro­duced last week at the start of the Club World Cup but wasn’t used un­til Wed­nes­day’s game.

Atletico had nu­mer­ous scor­ing chances with the best com­ing in the fi­nal minute of the first half when Jhon Mos­quera rat­tled the cross­bar. “In the first half Ber­rio col­lided with a player,” Atletico coach Reinaldo Rueda said. “It was not in­ten­tional and the player did fall and that led to their first goal. Be­cause of that, our dis­ci­pline was dis­turbed. Nor­mally, we can main­tain our dis­ci­pline.”

Kashima be­comes the first Ja­panese team to reach the fi­nal of the Club World Cup. “This is a new page in the his­tory of not only our club but of Ja­panese foot­ball as well,” Ishii said.

Ear­lier, Asian cham­pion Jeon­buk Mo­tors thrashed African side Mamelodi Sun­downs 4-1 to claim fifth place.—AP

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