• Corinthians 1-0 Chelsea, Club World Cup

Corinthians shock Chelsea as Cahill sees red

ESPN staff
December 16, 2012
Paolo Guerrero scored the final's decisive goal © Getty Images

Paolo Guerrero's second half header was the difference as Corinthians overcame 10-man Chelsea to win the Club World Cup on Sunday.

The Champions League holders, favourites going into the final, failed to dominate the contest until forced to push forward following Guerrero's 68th minute header - with Fernando Torres ultimately missing the best chance of the game in the closing stages.

In a game that was generally refereed very leniently Gary Cahill was surprisingly sent off in the final minute of normal time, just before Torres thought he had headed home an equaliser - but his strike deep into injury time was subsequently ruled out for offside.

After that scare the Brazilian side saw out the remaining seconds of the match (although Juan Mata did just have time to slide a shot against the post from a very acute angle), condemning manager Rafa Benitez to his second defeat in three Club World Cup final appearances.

Corinthians outworked Chelsea from the first whistle but there was encouragement for Benitez's men when a goalmouth scramble from a corner saw Cahill narrowly fail to stab the ball past Cassio in what came close to being arguably the first high-profile test of goalline technology.

David Luiz, restored to centre-half, did well to outfox Emerson after Juan Mata uncharacteristically passed straight to the forward, Corinthians being given too much space in midfield. And Luiz came to the rescue again after wasting a free-kick from which the Brazilians broke, while Guerrero appealed in vain for a penalty, having brilliantly nutmegging Cahill.

Cahill then got away with a major error just before the half-hour mark as Emerson panicked after the defender's slip and blazed over.

Corinthians continued to call the tune and Emerson just failed to squeeze home Guerrero's cross-shot.

Torres had offered little threat but that almost changed spectacularly eight minutes from the break when he superbly brought down Frank Lampard's ball over the top only to stab straight at Cassio.

But the goalkeeper then excelled himself as a lightning Chelsea breakaway saw Hazard feed Victor Moses - the pair having switched wings - and the latter's superb curling finish forcing a wonderful fingertip save.

Cassio also held Mata's volley as Benitez's side ended the first half on top, and they continued to probe after the restart.

Lampard saw a shot charged down, Hazard was denied by the legs of Cassio after bursting on to an inch-perfect Mata pass, and Moses's knockdown was just behind Torres.

Jorge Henrique picked up the game's first yellow card for tripping Mata but, roared on by an increasingly fervent crowd, Corinthians began to apply serious pressure of their own, Paulinho firing just wide.

In a game this tight, Torres' inability to hold up the ball was threatening to prove costly and so it proved as Corinthians took the lead in the 69th minute.

Chelsea's defence simply stood off as Henrique and Danilo danced across the box, Cahill's block simply teeing up Guerrero to head home. Corinthians celebrated jubilantly and it was too much for Luiz, who soon got himself booked for a foul on Emerson before Moses was hauled off for Oscar.

Benitez's lack of attacking options became apparent when he withdrew Ivanovic for Cesar Azpilicueta.

And Torres's Drogba moment finally arrived five minutes from time when the ball broke perfectly for him to beat Cassio from six yards but he could only send his shot straight at the keeper.

Oscar's control also let him down after he got in behind and Chelsea's misery was complete when Cahill was sent off for an off-the-ball clash with Emerson, Torres' header was rightly ruled out, and Mata failed to poke home from a narrow angle.

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