Sports Desk, Feb 9 (EFE).- Romelu Lukaku’s goal in the 32nd minute proved to be all Chelsea would need to beat Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal 1-0 Wednesday and advance to the final of the Club World Cup against Brazilian side Palmeiras.
The Blues will be determined to avoid a repeat of what happened a decade ago in their previous final in the event, which ended in triumph for another team from Brazil, Corinthians, the only non-European club to hoist the trophy in the last 14 years.
The Champions League holders were without coronavirus-positive coach Thomas Tuchel for the battle with the Asian champions in Abu Dhabi, but Chelsea expect the German to be cleared in time to take charge of Saturday’s final.
Aside from a potentially disastrous giveaway inside the first minute, the Blues were dominant before the break and after Hakim Ziyech fired over the cross-bar and Lukaku squandered a good chance, a blunder set up the Belgian to score from close range.
The Premier League team were unable to get another goal and the men from Riyadh turned up the intensity in the second half as Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was put to the test by Odion Ighalo and Mohamed Kanno. EFE apa/dr