It was a fight between the European champions and the Asian champions in the Club World Cup semifinal in Tokyo. At the end of it, Barcelona came out on top convincingly thanks to a hat-trick by ‘El Pistolero’ Luis Suarez. This is the first defeat since June for Luiz Felipe Scolari managed Guanzhou Evergrande.
Barca went into the match seemingly weakened by the loss of Messi and Neymar. The game started quite competitively as Guangzhou almost scored when Zheng Zhi’s cross caught the Barca defence by surprise but Elkesen failed to touch the ball in. On the 39th minute, Luis Suarez broke the deadlock as he beat Evergrande goalkeeper Li Shaui.
Shortly after that Evergrande increased the pressure as Zheng Zhi and Ricardo Goulart came close to scoring but some tight defence from Mascherano kept the Barca fort intact. On the 49th minute, Suarez scored from a beautiful pass from Iniesta and on the 67th minute, Suarez completed his hat-trick by converting a penalty.
Barcelona now go on to face South American champions River Plate. Neymar and Messi are expected to be back in action for the final.