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CWC: Mineiro edges Guangzhou for 3rd place finish

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Club Atletico Mineiro of Brazil, current Copa Libertadores champion and South American representative at the FIFA Clubs World Cup in Morocco, edged out Chinese champion Guangzhou Ev with a compensation time goal to take the third place match 3-2 at the Marrakech stadium. Mineiro was expected to face Bayern Munich of Germany in the final, but were surprised by local side Raja Casablanca in the semifinals.

The first goal came quick as the Brazilians put the ball in the net in the first two minutes of the game. A combination from Marcos Rocha and Diego Tardelli. Rocha passed to an open Tardelli who at close range volleyed the ball into the net for the 1-0. It looked like smooth sailing for the Brazilians at this point.

The Chinese responded seven minutes later with the equalizer. Lin Gao recovered a rebound and passed to Muriqui who pushed the ball into the net with a simple tap. The Chinese squad had closed the gap to 1-1.

Incredibly the Chinese took the lead over the South Americans in the 15th minute. Gao had moved into a dangerous position forcing defender Lucas to pull him down inside the box. The referee quickly pointed to the spot awarding the Asian Football Confederation champions the kick. Dario Conca converted from the spot to give Guangzhou the lead 2-1.

The game turned back and forth with the Chinese taking it to the Brazilians. It looked like the game would go to the lockers with the Chinese leading when a foul awarded to the Brazilians gave them the lead. Ronaldinho once again demonstrated his magic with the ball. He curled his shot into the right corner to close the gap 2-2 as the teams went to the break.

The second half continued with both teams going at it but with no real definition of who was in control. Action from both teams made it possible that either squad could take the third position of the tournament. The intensity increased and in an act of retaliation on a foul received, Ronaldinho was sent off with a red card in the 87th minute.

It appeared that the game would go to penalties when Tardelli found a gap in the Chinese defense. He filtered the ball to Luan who shot past the goalkeeper who could not prevent the ball from entering his net. Mineiro ends as the third place team in the Morocco 2013 Clubs World Cup.

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