SUITA: Japanese champions Kashima Antlers beat Atletico Nacional 3-0 in the Club World Cup semifinals yesterday thanks to a first-ever penalty awarded after video replay.
Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai made soccer history when he used video to issue the penalty kick in the first half. Kashima midfielder Gaku Shibasaki sent in a free kick in the 31st minute, and teammate Daigo Nishi was fouled inside the box by Atletico Nacional forward Orlando Berrio.
Kassai walked to the sidelines to get another look at the play on a monitor. He then signaled for Kashima to take a penalty.
Shoma Doi converted for 1-0. Yasushi Endo and Yuma Suzuki added second-half goals to send Kashima to the final on Sunday against either Real Madrid or Club America.
“It did stop the flow of the game,” Kashima coach Masatada Ishii said. “But if they make a clear judgment using video assistant referees (VARs) then that is a good thing. Of course, if they use it many times during a game then that is something we need to think about.”
The replay system allows referees to halt games to review footage of “game-changing decisions.” They can also rely on information being fed by VARs watching broadcast feeds away from the field.The South American champion dominated the first half but the momentum shifted to Kashima with the history-making call.
Live tests are set to be expanded globally in 2017 with a decision anticipated by the following year on VARs becoming a permanent feature. FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who has observed recent off-line trials with VARs at Italy games, wants video replays in use at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.The system was introduced last week at the start of the Club World Cup but wasn’t used until Wednesday’s game.
Atletico had numerous scoring chances with the best coming in the final minute of the first half when Jhon Mosquera rattled the crossbar. “In the first half Berrio collided with a player,” Atletico coach Reinaldo Rueda said. “It was not intentional and the player did fall and that led to their first goal. Because of that, our discipline was disturbed. Normally, we can maintain our discipline.”
Kashima becomes the first Japanese team to reach the final of the Club World Cup. “This is a new page in the history of not only our club but of Japanese football as well,” Ishii said.
Earlier, Asian champion Jeonbuk Motors thrashed African side Mamelodi Sundowns 4-1 to claim fifth place.
Kim Bo-kyung scored his second goal of the tournament in the first half and Lee Jong-ho, playing in his last game for Jeonbuk, doubled the advantage 10 minutes later.Jeonbuk went into the break 3-0 ahead when Jang Yun-ho’s low cross was turned into the net by Sundowns defender Ricardo Nascimento.
Sundowns pulled one back three minutes into the second half after Percy Tau found the top corner with a left-footed strike, and Kim Shin-wook’s header off a corner kick at the end sealed the win. Before the match, Lee and teammates Kim Chang-soo and Choi Kyu-baek were traded to Ulsan Hyundai. – AP