Yokohama: Corinthians have become only the second team ever to win the Club World Cup twice after defeating Chelsea 1-0 in the final in Yokohama.
In an even first half, which saw both sides have spells of dominance, the Blues had the better of the chances with Cassio brilliantly denying both Gary Cahill and Victor Moses from opening the scores.
There was a similar feel to the second 45, with both teams mostly cancelling each other out, however Paolo Guerrero nodded home with 20 minutes left to secure the victory for his side, and Cassio again coming to Corinthians` rescue late on - with Cahill seeing red and Torres having a goal disallowed in injury time.
The Brazilian outfit made two changes from their semi final win, Cassio replacing Julio Cesar in goal and Jorge Enrique coming in for Douglas. Rafael Benitez also switched things around from the win over Monterry, Frank Lampard and Moses starting as David Luiz dropped back to centre back.
The Premier League side went close to taking the lead, and to testing the goal-line technology, with just ten minutes played. Juan Mata`s corner fell to Cahill who poked the ball at goal from yards out, however Cassio reacted quickly to just about smother the effort before it crossed the line.
Chelsea began to look slightly dominant in possession, but, with Corinthians placing men behind the ball to soak up the pressure, Benitez`s men struggled to create chances.
Guerrero then started to cause the Blues problems as Tite`s side took a foothold in the game. He nutmegged Cahill with ease to skip into the box, however fell to the ground under little, if any, contact.
The attacker then found team-mate Emerson with a decent through ball that put him in on goal, though Cahill should have stopped the pass, but the Brazilian lashed the shot horribly high and wide.
Moments after a delightful diagonal ball from Hazard nearly sent Moses in on goal, Guerrero then ghosted past Cahill and Luiz into the box once more, using skill and strength, but saw his strike flash across the face of goal. Emerson picked up the ball for a second chance but shot wide from the tight angle.
The west Londoners then came back into the clash with two openings before the break. Firstly, Torres` deft touch after Lampard`s pass created a good chance, but the finish was weak. Then, Moses cut in from the right-hand-side of the penalty box to curl a strike towards the far corner, but Cassio did fantastically to tip it wide at full stretch.
The Corinthians` keeper`s fantastic display continued in the second 45 as he rushed out quickly to block Hazard`s effort in a one-on-one after ten minutes - that chance the only real opportunity until Paulinho fired just wide after the hour mark.
With extra-time looming, Corinthians finally netted the breakthrough with just over 20 minutes remaining. Paulinho was allowed to run with the ball through the penalty box, before shifting it to Danilo who cut inside to shoot. The effort then deflected off Cahill into the air, leaving Petr Cech stranded on the floor and Guerrero with the simple task of heading past the three Blues defenders on the line.
Torres should have sent the game into extra-time, though, with five minutes left on the clock. The ball fell to the Spaniard after a wicked deflection leaving the forward with plenty of time to pick his spot from yards out, but Cassio produced a fabulous stop to make sure his side secured the trophy.
There was yet more late drama as Blues` defender Cahill was red carded for a coming together with Emerson in the 90th minute, before Torres had a headed goal correctly disallowed for offside and Mata hitting the post with the game in injury time.
First Published: Sunday, December 16, 2012, 18:13