OSAKA (Reuters) - Kashima Antlers survived a first-half battering from Mamelodi Sundowns before scoring twice in the last half-hour to beat the African champions 2-0 in their Club World Cup quarter-final on Sunday.
Yasushi Endo and substitute Mu Kanazaki scored to earn Kashima, who qualified as champions of host nation Japan, a semi-final against South American champions Atletico Nacional on Wednesday. It was the fourth year in a row that the African champions had fallen at the first hurdle.
European champions and runaway favourites Real Madrid will face CONCACAF champions America in the other semi-final on Thursday after the Mexican side came from behind to beat Asian champions Jeonbuk Motors 2-1 in Sunday’s other game.
Real and Atletico Nacional had byes to the last four.
For the first time in a FIFA tournament, referees can use video replays to help make important decisions but the new technology has not been used in any of the three matches played so far.
Sundowns, the first South African side to qualify for the tournament, had only themselves to blame after dominating the first half but failing to take their chances.
The yellow-shirted Sundowns, nicknamed the Brazilians by their fans, had 11 shots to none for Kashima in the first half as they produced some flowing football.
Kashima goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata was first called into action in the 12th minute when he made a good save to deny Thapelo Morena.
As Sundowns sliced their way through the Kashima defence, Percy Tau broke clear of the Kashima defence but was thwarted by another Sogahata save, then Khama Billiat fired over the crossbar from an unmarked position at the far post.
Sogahata tipped over Tiyani Mabunda’s long-range effort and Hlompho Kekana was narrowly wide with another shot from distance.
The tide turned completely after halftime and Kashima had already seen two shots cleared off the line before Endo broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute with a shot which squirmed through goalkeeper Denis Onyango’s hands.
Sundowns were unable to find their first-half rhythm and Kanazaki wrapped up the win in the 88th minute, drilling the ball past Onyango after Endo pulled it back from the byline.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; editing by Clare Fallon