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World Club Championship Wednesday, 5 January, 2000, 22:44 GMT
Anelka finally opens account
Real's Michael Salgado battles with Ibrahim Al-Shokia
Real Madrid 3-1 Al-Nassr

The World Club Championship's opening game saw Nicolas Anelka finally score his first goal for Real Madrid.

It was no classic, but the former Arsenal man did not care as he celebrated a first strike in 16 competitive matches.

World Club Championship
The ball was played onto Anelka's shin by a defender from the Saudi Arabian side and it looped over Khojalli in the Asian champions' goal.

But despite the 21st minute strike, the Spaniards were were shocked when Al-Nassr equalised from the penalty spot in the second minute of first half injury time.

Second half goals from Raul and a penalty from Savio ensured the win for a none-too-convincing Real Madrid.

Match facts
21 mins: Anelka celebrates lucky landmark
47th minute: Al-Husseini equalises from spot
62 mins: Raul claims scrappy strike
70 mins: Savio gives Real breathing space
Considering this was the first game in a new major tournament, it began at a pedestrian pace in front of near-empty stands in Sao Paolo.

Fans slowly began to arrive for the main attraction, the home side Corinthians' clash with Raja Casablanca which followed this game.

Real were content to stroke the ball around at half pace, and the Saudis gave them plenty of respect.

Fernando Hierro became the first player to be booked in a World Club Championship for a late challenge on Fahad Al-Husseini.

And in the closing stages of the first half Anelka almost scored a fortuitous second with a deflected shot.

Tottenham midfielder Moussa Saib played for Al-Nassr during his on-loan period
The Frenchman also badly missed a conventional chance to chip the advancing keeper two minutes before half-time.

But it was Al-Nassr who struck before the break, with a penalty after Frenchman Christian Karembeau brought down Ahmed Bahja.

Fahad Al-Husseini cooly put the spot kick to Real keeper Cassilas's left, to give the Brazilian crowd something to cheer as they supported the underdogs.

Match stats (Real first)
Corners 2-2
Fouls 13-15
Shots on target 8-7
Shots off target 11-6
Yellow cards 1-1
Red cards 0-0
Two minutes into the second half Roberto Carlos fired a trademark long range free kick at the Saudi keeper.

But there were few other chances before a second lucky goal for the Spaniards on 62 minutes.

Raul will claim the strike, but it may go down as an own goal against Khojalli, who palmed Jeremi's mishit cross over his own goal-line before the Spanish striker made sure.

Fuad Al-Amin shakes off Guti's challenge
With 24 minutes remaining England international Steve McManaman came on as the Madrid side looked to drive home their advantage.

They soon won a penalty when Anelka was brought down inside the area, and Savio's kick was touched but not saved by the luckless Khojalli.

But the Al-Nassr keeper kept the score respectable by saving Anelka's best chance of the game.

And Al-Nassr came close in the latter stages when Fahad Mehalel's drive was saved by Cassilas and the resulting corner saw Roberto Carlos blocking a shot on the line.

Teams:

Real Madrid: Casillas, Salgado, Carlos, Hierro, Redondo, Raul, Savio, Guti, Anelka, Geremi, Karembeu. Subs: Bizarri, Oliver, Sanchis, McManaman, Morientes, Manu, Campo, Helguera, Eto'o, Ognjenovic, Dorado, Karanka.

Al-Nassr: Babkr, Al-Husseini, Al-Amin, M. Al-Dosari, Bahja, Al-Mousa, Al-Karni, Saib, Al-Harthi, Sharify, Al Shokia. Subs: M. Al-Dosari, Sharifi, Al-Halawi, F. Al-Dosari, Aboshahin, Triki, Mehalel, Al-Khathran, Al-Ghamdi, Al-Janoubi, Al-Dhaferi.

Referee: Julian Oscar Ruiz Acosta (Colombia)

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 ON THIS STORY
Jon Champion
"A closer contest than perhaps we might have expected"
See also:

06 Jan 00 | World Club Championship
20 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
20 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
24 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
20 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
05 Jan 00 | World Club Championship
05 Jan 00 | World Club Championship
20 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
04 Jan 00 | World Club Championship
05 Jan 00 | Americas
Links to more World Club Championship stories are at the foot of the page.


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