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The BBC's John Champion in Sao Paulo
"Call this game what you like, but memorable may be the best description"
 real 28k

Monday, 10 January, 2000, 23:53 GMT
Surreal win for eight-man Real

Roberto Carlos is sent off for violent conduct

Real Madrid 3-2 Raja Casablanca

In a madcap game that saw four red cards and five goals, Real Madrid edged past Raja Casablanca to preserve their hopes of a place in the final of the World Club Championships.

This is a match that will be well remembered for its increasingly bizarre twists and turns, as Spanish frustration and African exuberance clashed in spectacular fashion at the Morumbi stadium in Brazil.

Match facts
28 mins: Achami puts Raja ahead
48 mins: Hierro levels from free-kick
52 mins: Morientes makes it 2-1
59 mins: Moustaoudia heads home Raja's second
62 mins: Carlos, Guti and El Moubarki sent off
65 mins: Moustaoudia hits the post with an open goal
84 mins: Karembeu sent off
87 mins: Geremi slots home the winner
But Real's chances of winning the inaugual tournament were ended by Corinthians' 2-0 victory over Al Nassr later on Monday.

That result relegated Madrid to second spot in Group A on goal difference and the best they can now hope for is victory in Friday's third-place play-off.

Ndjitap Geremi slotted the winner three minutes from time, despite Real being reduced to eight men by card-happy referee Horacio Marcelo Elizondo, who sent off Roberto Carlos, Jose Guti and Christian Karembeu in the second half.

The Argentinian official - responsible for red-carding David Beckham against Necaxa - also dispatched Bouchaib El Moubarki of Raja as the match dissolved into brawling and retaliation.

World Club Championship
In front of a half-empty stadium, the Spanish giants looked at best uninterested and at worst apathetic for all but a few minutes at the start of the second half.

By contrast, their African opponents were clearly enjoying the occasion and scored two superb goals through Youssef Achami and Mustapha Moustaoudia as the Real defence dozed off.

Anelka injured

In a portent of things to come, Casablanca produced the first convincing chance of the clash, with Talal El Karkouri blasting in a free-kick that ricocheted off the keeper and then the crossbar for a corner.

Bouchaib El Moubarki Bouchaib El Moubarki cries as he is sent off
The Spanish side replied with four free-kicks in promising positions, three of which Roberto Carlos buried in the highly reluctant Moroccan wall and the fourth was skied by Fernando Hierro.

The match exploded into life in the 28th minute when Achami soared above two Real defenders to head the ball into the back of the net.

The European giants were clearly stunned and their cause was not helped by the exit minutes later of former Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka with a leg injury.

Real succeeded in restoring the natural order of things within minutes of the restart as Hierro thundered home a free-kick with the Raja keeper unsighted by his own wall.

Four minutes later, Morientes made it two by taking the direct route straight through the centre of the Moroccan defence and sending in a sweet left-footed shot.

Red fever

But Casablanca were far from dead and buried as they again sallied deep into the opposition half and Mustapha Moustaoudia rose above a sleepwalking Christian Karembeu to gratefully head in El Moubarki's cross

Real's frustration was evident and boiled over in spectacular fashion as Carlos retaliated for what he perceived to be a harsh tackle by shoving Moustaoudia.

Youseff Achami Youseff Achami snatched the lead for Raja
The Moroccan went down and as he lay on the floor Jose Guti sneakily kicked him in the ankle.

Both Madrid players were shown red cards, while El Moubarki was also given his marching orders for violent conduct during the scuffle that followed.

Five minutes later, Moustaoudia was to rue scuffing what could have been the winner against the upright with an open goal ahead of him.

Just as it appeared the game could not become any more surreal, Karembeu was carded for shirt tugging and sent off for a second bookable offence, reducing his side to eight men.

Raja pressed forward, scenting victory, but Real ran the ball back at them and - against all the odds - went 3-2 up on 87 minutes when Geremi converted a speculative cross.

Desperate defence by the sparsely populated Spaniards held out for four minutes of injury time - but though they claimed the victory, it ultimately proved not enough to take them into the final.


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

Raja Casablanca: Chadli, El Haimeur, El Karkouri, Kharbouch, Moustaoudia, Khoubbache, El Moubarki, Aboub, Ereyahi, Achami, Nater. Subs: Bouabdellaoui, Daakali, Jrindou, Armounen, Nejjary, Hafid, Miki, Rizki, Kherazi.

Referee: Horacio Marcelo Elizondo (Argentina)
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See also:
11 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Corinthians creep into final
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Madrid: A Real sense of history
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Raja Casablanca: Men who did it again
10 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Man Utd: Just happy to be here?
09 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
World Club Championship tables
05 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
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