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Other SportsUrawa Red Diamonds 0-3 Manchester City: Treble winners cruise into Club World...

Urawa Red Diamonds 0-3 Manchester City: Treble winners cruise into Club World Cup final

Manchester City cruised into the FIFA Club World Cup final with a 3-0 win over Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday, with Mateo Kovacic and Bernardo Silva among the goals for Pep Guardiola’s men.

With Erling Haaland and Jeremy Doku still injured and Kevin De Bruyne not yet ready to make his return to the squad, City initially struggled to break down the Japanese outfit before the unfortunate Marius Hoibraten put through his own net in first-half stoppage time.

Their resistance finally broken, the AFC Champions League winners struggled to maintain their rearguard action in the second half as Kovacic rifled in a second and Silva added a deflected third at King Abdullah Sports City.

City will now have an opportunity to capture the trophy for the first time on Friday, when they face Copa Libertadores champions Fluminense in the final.

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City made a tentative start as Urawa packed men behind the ball, with two wayward long-range shots from Rodri the sum of their efforts in the first half-hour.

Matheus Nunes and Silva forced Urawa goalkeeper Shusaku Nishikawa into action as Guardiola’s side began to carve out more frequent openings, the former seeing a powerful shot tipped over at the near post following a mazy run.

The former Wolves man played a crucial role as City opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, playing a give-and-go with Silva before seeing his low cross prodded into the bottom corner by Hoibraten.

City needed just seven minutes to find a way through in the second half, with Kovacic bursting onto Kyle Walker’s throughball before lifting his finish over Nishikawa when one-on-one.

Nunes then went close twice, heading wide from inside the six-yard box before testing Nishikawa with a curling strike, but that latter attempt was pushed straight to Silva, whose left-footed drive deflected into the bottom-right corner.

Nishikawa stood firm at his near post to deny Julian Alvarez late on as Urawa kept the scoreline respectable, and they will take on Egyptian giants Al Ahly for the bronze model on Friday.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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