Real Madrid face Mexican or Asian opponents in Club World Cup

Reuters| Updated: Oct 12, 2014, 11:21 AM IST
Real Madrid face Mexican or Asian opponents in Club World Cup

European champions Real Madrid will face Mexican side Cruz Azul or the yet to be determined club champions of Asia in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup after the draw for the annual showpiece in host nation Morocco on Saturday.

The Spanish side are three-time winners of the tournament in its former guise as the Intercontinental Cup and will be favourites going into this year’s event that will be held in north Africa from Dec. 10 to 20.

Their opponents in the semi-finals could yet be one of three clubs, with Cruz Azul having already booked a quarter-final place against Western Sydney Wanderers from Australia or Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia, who must still contest the final of the Asian Champions League with the second leg on Nov. 1.

In the other half of the draw South American champions San Lorenzo of Argentina could face one of four sides.

Moroccan league winners Moghreb Tétouan have been entered to represent the host nation, but must first overcome the challenge of Oceania champions Auckland City in a playoff that will open the tournament on Dec. 10. 

That will determine the quarter-final opponents for the winners of the African Champions League, with the final between ES Setif of Algeria and AS Vita Club from DR Congo also to be concluded on Nov. 1.

The winner of that quarter-final will advance to play the Argentine side in the second semi-final on Dec. 17, with Real Madrid in action the day before.

Morocco is hosting the tournament for the second time after debuting last year when UEFA Champions League holders Bayern Munich lifted the trophy having beaten home side Raja Casablanca 2-0 in the final.