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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 December 2005, 12:16 GMT
Sao Paulo 1-0 Liverpool
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool slipped to defeat in the Club World Championship final against Sao Paulo in a game dominated by the Reds.

Liverpool created numerous chances and had three efforts ruled out for offside but were thwarted by hurried finishing and in-form goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni.

Luis Garcia hit the bar with a header, while Steven Gerrard shot well wide.

The Sao Paulo goal came just before the half-hour following a well-worked move, Mineiro stroking the ball home after he had collected a clever pass.

Liverpool had had to come from behind to win both the European Cup against AC Milan and the European Super Cup against CSKA Moscow but there was to be no third reprieve in the fourth final they have reached in 2005.

Such was Liverpool's domination that the corner count was 17-0 in their favour.

With only Fernando Morientes in attack, the onus was on Steven Gerrard, Luis Garcia and Harry Kewell to support the former Real Madrid striker as he held up the ball.

All three players carried out that responsibility diligently, although both Gerrard and Garcia each missed several good chances through some hurried finishing.

Apart from a Amoroso shot Sao Paulo had shown little attacking threat in the opening 27 minutes but they went ahead with a goal of breathtaking simplicity.

A clever chipped pass released Mineiro, who had made a clever run from right to left.

Mineiro quickly brought the ball under control before stroking the ball past Jose Reina.

It was the first goal Liverpool's Spanish goalkeeper had conceded in over 17 hours of football.

Garcia almost immediately equalised for Liverpool, striking the woodwork with a flicked header from an Xabi Alonso corner.

Just past the half-hour another Alonso pass, this time from open play, found Garcia who went close with a downward header.

Garcia troubled the Sao Paulo defence with a third header from a Gerrard free-kick, the Spaniard's effort forcing a hurried save from Rogerio.

Just past the hour Garcia did score with a header, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

Sami Hyypia and Florent Sinama-Pongolle also had goals disallowed for offside, with television replays showing the Frenchman's goal probably should have stood.

Gerrard probably had the clearest sight of goal when the ball arrived at his feet from a Harry Kewell cross but the England midfielder hurried his shot, blazing his effort well wide.

Rogerio had a busy start to the second half, athletically tipping away Gerrard's curling free-kick.

The Sao Paulo keeper's judgement was less assured for a dipping Kewell cross, tipping the ball on to the bar.

But he redeemed himself with an instinctive save a fierce Garcia shot.

Liverpool's last chance fell to Morientes after good work from Kewell but the Spaniard missed badly.

Sao Paulo: Rogerio, Cicinho, Fabio Santos, Edcarlos, Lugano, Junior, Mineiro, Josue, Danilo, Amoroso, Aloisio (Grafite 75).
Subs Not Used: Christian, Alex, Denilson, Fabao, Renan, Donizeti Flavio, Thiago, Richarlyson, Souza, Bosco, Roberto Flavio.

Booked: Lugano, Rogerio.

Goals: Mineiro 27.

Liverpool: Reina, Carragher, Warnock (Riise 79), Finnan, Hyypia, Kewell, Gerrard, Luis Garcia, Alonso, Morientes (Crouch 85), Sissoko (Sinama Pongolle 79).
Subs Not Used: Dudek, Cisse, Carson, Josemi, Traore, Hamann.

Att: 66,821.

Ref: Benito Archundia Tellez (Mexico).

Interview: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez

Interview: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard


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