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Ten-Man United oust Liga for Club World Cup

Goal.com
Dec 22, 2008 at 12:53pm IST

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New Delhi: Despite playing with 10 men for almost the entire second half, Manchester United ousted Liga Deportiva Universitaria 1-0 for the FIFA Club World Cup, courtesy of a strike from Man of the Match Wayne Rooney.

Manchester United claimed the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time, after edging Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito 1-0 in a match that could have gone either way.

United's eventual match winner came in the 73rd minute, courtesy of a strike from Rooney.

SILVERWARE: Manchester United players celebrate after winning the FIFA Club World Cup tournament in Yokohama, Japan.

The European champions came into the match as the overwhelming favourites, and they started strongly, piling heavy pressure on the Liga de Quito goal.

But it was the Ecuadorians who came closest to opening the scoring, when defender Jairo Campos shot incredibly wide at an open goal.

United didn't allow that to affect them, and from that instant they seemed to be the only side on the field, as they completely dominated Liga de Quito, with good work from Cristian Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, who were United's two liveliest players.

Sir Alex Ferguson's team first clear-cut opportunity fell to Rooney, but his powerful attempt at goal was blocked by Liga goalkeeper Jose Cevallos.

United continued to dominate, and in the 19th minute great work from Ronaldo down the left wing opened up an opportunity for Tevez, but the Argentine saw his header saved by Cevallos.

The Red Devils were completely on top at this stage, with their ball possession reading 68 per cent compared to only 32 per cent for Liga.

United pushed forward in numbers as they looked to make the most of their territorial advantage, as Rooney saw another goal-bound effort go begging.

In the final 10 minutes of the half Liga, the Copa Libertadores champions, sneaked more into the match, in great part because of the effort of Argentine midfielder Damian Manso, who was by far their best player.

But United continued to be the better side, and in the 34th minute a brilliant combination involving Rooney and Tevez almost culminated in Ji Sung Park finding the back of the net, but the South Korean international has his effort saved.

In the final moments of the half, Park was presented with a glorious opportunity to put United ahead, but somehow he shot wide at an open goal.

Four minutes into the second half United were reduced to ten men, when Nemanja Vidic was given his marching orders for elbowing an opponent.

Ferguson sacrificed Carlos Tevez, bringing in Jonathan Evans as his replacement.

After the sending off Liga de Quito began to play to their true potential, and the Ecuadorians tried to surprise United down the wings, with the brilliant work of Manso and the speed of Luis Bolanos.

But United still looked dangerous when moving forward, and they almost went ahead when a Cristiano Ronaldo effort from the edge of the area was saved by Cevallos.

In the 62nd minute Manso, who was in inspired form, almost beat Edwin Van der Sar with a long-range drive that almost crept into the angle of the goal. Liga were looking extremely dangerous at this point.

However, United broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute when Cristiano Ronaldo fed Rooney, and the strike made no mistake with a well-placed shot that got the better of Cevallos.

The goal gave United some breathing space, but they were in for a complicated final 20 minutes, as the Ecuadorians piled heavy pressure on their goal, as they looked for an equaliser.

In the 89th minute Manso almost drew Liga level, when he saw his senstional long-range effort tipped over the bar by Van der Sar.

Manchester United held on, and claimed the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time.

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