Sports Desk, Feb 12 (EFE).- England’s Chelsea edged Brazilian side Palmeiras 2-1 in extra time Saturday to win their first Club World Cup title.
The Blues hoisted the trophy a decade after their only previous final in the event, which ended in triumph for another team from Brazil: Corinthians, the only non-European club to win the Club World Cup in the last 14 years.
Palmeiras remain without a victory after two trips to the final, having lost to Manchester United in 1999 in what was then called the Intercontinental Cup.
Nearly 33,000 spectators were in the stands at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi for the battle between the Champions League holders and the Copa Libertadores winners.
And coach Thomas Tuchel, who missed most of the tournament due to a positive Covid-19 test, was on the touchline for Chelsea hours after flying in from London.
The opening minutes saw a fairly even back-and-forth, but the Premier League club became increasingly dominant as the first half wore on, yet the score remained 0-0 at the break.
Nine minutes into the second half, Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross found Romelu Lukaku at the six-yard line and the Belgian out-jumped Luan before beating Weverton to make it 1-0 for Chelsea.
The team from Sao Paulo reacted and drew level in the 63rd minute, when Raphael Veiga converted from the spot after a Thiago Silva hand-ball.
The contest was still deadlocked at the end of regulation and stoppage time, forcing the sides to extra time.
Chelsea’s Timo Werner came closest in the first additional period, hitting the cross-bar in the 98th minute, and a shootout looked likely until the Blues won a penalty for a hand-ball by Luan.
Kai Havertz, the author of winning goal against Manchester City in the Champions League final, scored from the spot in the 116th minute and Chelsea hung on to claim the cup. EFE wgm/dr