Real Madrid survive scare to win club cup with Ronaldo hat-trick
By Chris Gallagher
TOKYO (Reuters) - Real Madrid suffered an almighty fright before a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick hauled them back from 2-1 down and gave them a 4-2 win over rank outsiders Kashima Antlers in the Club World Cup final on Sunday.
Two goals from Gaku Shibasaki stunned the European champions as the Japanese hosts took a 2-1 lead early in the second half before a Ronaldo penalty brought Real level on the hour.
The 11-times European champions then survived several more scares and a possible sending-off for captain Sergio Ramos before Ronaldo scored twice more in the first period of extra-time.
Real, who won the tournament for the second time in three years and were crowned champions for a fifth time overall, appeared set for an easy victory when Karim Benzema gave them a ninth-minute lead but Shibasaki changed the story by leveling one minute before halftime.
Kashima were the first Asian team to reach the final although they qualified for the tournament as champions of host nation Japan. Asian champions Jeonbuk Motors had lost in the quarter-finals.
"We knew it was not going to be an easy one. They were very aggressive," Real coach Zinedine Zidane told reporters.
Real went ahead when Luka Modric's volley was parried by Hitoshi Sogahata and Benzema tapped in the rebound.
Kashima refused to be overawed, continued playing their neat football and snatched a shock equalizer just before the break. Continued...