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FC Bayern München Open Their First FIFA Club World Cup with a Semifinal Victory

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The UEFA champions boasted their skill over Guangzhou, outclassing the Chinese Champions all over the pitch

Lars Baron

In the battle of the Confederations, FC Bayern München opened the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup with a 3-0 victory in the semifinal against Guangzhou Evergrande FC.

The European Champions walked over their Asian counterparts, controlling 74 percent of the possession and out shooting their opponents 27 to one.

"It is never easy against a Marcello Lippi team," said Pep Guardiola [Süddeutsche Zeitung]. "They earned this final."

FC Bayern manager Pep Guardiola put a strong side out on the pitch, with Philipp Lahm playing as the six once again and Rafinha playing on the wing. Guangzhou Manager Marcello Lippi tried to play on the counterattack while packing his defense behind the ball.

Thiago Alcântara and Toni Kroos, both starting in the center of the park, almost opened the scoring with shots just off target. Thiago's attempt slid just past frame as he had a go on a quick turn on the left side of the box. Kroos whacked a shot from outside the top of the box that ricocheted off of the crossbar and bounced away from the goal-line.

FC Bayern finally broke down the Red Devils, with Franck Ribéry capitalizing on a rebound off of a Thiago shot in the 40th minute for the first goal of the match. Mario Mandžukić doubled the advantage four minutes later, diving head-first into a Thiago cross after the Spaniard capitalized on a turnover from Sun Xiang on the right flank.

"We are professionals and want to win this title. We played so well for that reason," said Ribéry [Süddeutsche Zeitung]

Daniel van Buyten and Jérôme Boateng took turns shutting down Elkeson, the club's top scorer who scored in Guangzhou's quarterfinal match against Al Ahly. Dario Conca, who scored at the weekend as well, was required more in the midfield than as an attacker, limiting the Argentinian's effectiveness in the center of the park.

At times stymied and lethargic, FC Bayern burst out of the gates in the second half. Mario Götze found space on the right wing and slotted a shot into the top left corner passed the dive of Zeng Cheng in the 47th minute. The third goal in seven minutes allowed FC Bayern to shift down a gear, although the Reds had plenty of chances to score throughout the rest of the second half.

"We played sovereign football over all," said Lahm [bundesliga.de]. "We are in the finals, are professionals and want to win the title."

With one match left, FC Bayern have only lost three matches in all competitions in 2013. The Europeans await the winner of the other semifinal between Atlético Minero and hosts Raja Casablanca, while Guangzhou will compete with the semifinal loser in the third place match.

Match Details

1:0 Ribéry (40')
2:0 Mandžukić (44')
3:0 Götze (47')

Yellow Cards: Xuri Zhao (68')

FC Bayern (4-1-4-1): Neuer; Rafinha, van Buyten, Boateng, Alaba; Lahm; Götze, Thiago, Kroos (Martínez 58'), Ribéry (Shaqiri 72'); Mandžukić (Pizarro 75')

Guangzhou (4-3-3): Zeng Cheng; Yong-Gwon Kim, Zhang Linpeng, Feng Xiaoting, Sun Xiang; Conca, Zheng Zhi, Xuri Zhao (Junyan Feng); Huang Bowen (Hao Rong 45'), Elkeson, Muriqui (Lin Gao 72')