Bayern Munich 2-0 Raja Casablanca, FIFA Club World Cup: CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!

Lars Baron

Bayern Munich capped off a spectacular 2013 with the FIFA Club World Cup.

Thirty seven years ago today, a Bayern Munich side consisting of Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeneß and Gerd Müller played a scoreless draw against Jairzinho's Cruzeiro at the Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, Brazil to defeat their Brazilian counterparts 2-0 on aggregate and win the 1976 Intercontinental Cup. Bayern won the first leg in Munich 2-0 on goals from Müller and Jupp Kapellmann. This was FC Bayern's first "world championship".

So, it's only fitting that on this day, Bayern Munich beat Raja Casablanca 2-0 to win the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup and the club's third international trophy.

The first half was controlled completely by the Bayern. In the opening minutes, the interchanging amongst Thomas Müller, Franck Ribery, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago Alcantara showed that the Moroccan side were going to struggle with the passing abilities of the Bayern players. However, the first goal came from a set piece.

Seven minutes into the match, Bayern snatched the lead and dampened the spirits of their opponents. A corner kick found Jerome Boateng at the top of the penalty box, and he headed the ball into the area to his centerback partner Dante. All alone in the penalty area, Dante showed the skills of a seasoned striker by sublimely bringing the ball down before turning and smashing the ball with his weaker foot past Khalid Askri.

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Bayern began to pepper the Raja goal with attempts. Müller, Toni Kroos, and David Alaba all forced Askri into saves to keep the Bavarians at only one goal. Some superb dribbling from the left back found Bayern their second goal in the 21st minute. Alaba received a pass in front of him as he sprinted into the penalty. On his cutback, Alaba nearly lost his feet, but he managed to recover with another touch before dropping the ball back into the path of Thiago. The midfielder unleashed a one-time shot that beat Askri for the 2-0 advantage.

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The remainder of the half was basically all Bayern as they defended well to cut out most of Raja's counterattacks and nearly came close to scoring a few times themselves. However, there was one standout moment thanks to Manuel Neuer.

Awakened from his slumber in the goal, Neuer turned the ball over on a simple clearance. As Neuer ran back to cover his empty net, Chemseddine Chtibi thankfully missed a fairly open net to pull Raja right back into things. This would be a precursor for things in the second half.

If we're all being completely honest here, the second half was awful. If it wasn't Bayern playing in the match, I believe that I probably would not have finished the match. It just was not well played. At times, it appeared that Bayern

Shaqiri played very well for large portions of the match, but there is nothing that he did to dissuade me from my belief that he's better for Bayern by coming off of the bench. At the hour mark, he smashed a great cross from Philipp Lahm off the crossbar, and Thiago was unable to put the follow-up shot on target.

Raja never truly looked like they were going to score as the game slowly crawled to a finish. Their counterattack looked better late in the match as Bayern's defense started to fall asleep, but they were never able to capitalize.

FC Bayern finish 2013 having won five trophies: Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, Champions League, UEFA SuperCup, and now the Club World Cup.

Mia san mia!

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