Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Barcelona Wins Club World Cup

With a 3-0 win over Argentina's River Plate on Sunday, Barcelona won their third FIFA Club World Cup Final, becoming the first team to do so. Barcelona, who also won the tournament in 2009 and 2011, defeated Guangzhou Evergrande (China) 3-0 in the semifinals behind three goals from Uruguay's Luis Suárez before riding two more Suárez goals to an identical 3-0 win in the Championship. Suárez's five goals are the most ever scored by a player in the tournament's history (which dates back to 2000). As such, Suárez earned the tournament's Golden Ball while teammates Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta earned the Silver and Bronze Balls respectively.

CONCACAF's champion, América (Mexico), finished fifth after losing their opening match to Guangzhou Evergrande, 2-1 when they squandered a 1-0 lead after 80 minutes ultimately surrendering the winning goal in the last minute of stoppage time. América rebounded to defeat TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 2-1 in the Fifth Place Match. Here are the final standings for this year's tournament:

1. Barcelona (Spain) - UEFA
2. River Plate (Argentina) - CONMEBOL
3. Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan) - AFC/Host
4. Guangzhou Evergrande (China) - AFC
5. América (Mexico) - CONCACAF
6. TP Mazembe (DR Congo) - CAF
7. Auckland City (New Zealand) - OFC

No American club has ever participated in the Club World Cup, with the closest being the LA Galaxy who qualified for the tournament in 2001 only to have the tournament cancelled.

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