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Dec 19, 2013

Soccer-Vanishing spray to be used at World Cup – Blatter

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Referees will use the recently-developed vanishing spray at the World Cup next year to stop defensive walls creeping forward at free kicks, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday.

Blatter said the spray, developed in Brazil and Argentina, had received a positive reception after being used at the Club World Cup in Morocco.

Dec 19, 2013

Atletico flop likely to end Ronaldinho’s World Cup dream

MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) – Ronaldinho’s hopes that a good performance at the Club World Cup might earn a Brazil recall have been dashed by Atletico Mineiro’s shock elimination at the hands of Raja Casablanca.

The ever-grinning former World Player of the Year gave two tantalising glimpses of his unique talent before drowning in a sea of mediocrity in Wednesday’s match.

Dec 19, 2013

Soccer-Atletico flop likely to end Ronaldinho’s World Cup dream

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Ronaldinho’s hopes that a good performance at the Club World Cup might earn a Brazil recall have been dashed by Atletico Mineiro’s shock elimination at the hands of Raja Casablanca.

The ever-grinning former World Player of the Year gave two tantalising glimpses of his unique talent before drowning in a sea of mediocrity in Wednesday’s match.

Dec 18, 2013

Soccer-Raja revere Ronaldinho after knocking out Atletico

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Rank outsiders Raja Casablanca untied and removed Ronaldinho’s boots and pleaded for his shirt after a stunning 3-1 win over South American champions Atletico Mineiro on Wednesday.

Former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho curled in a free kick but was unable to prevent the Brazilians from sliding to an astonishing defeat against Raja, who were seen as no-hopers after firing coach Mohamed Fakhir one week before the tournament.

Dec 18, 2013

Raja stun Mineiro with two late strikes

MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) – Raja Casablanca scored twice in the last 10 minutes to stun Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro 3-1 in their Club World Cup semi-final on Wednesday and earn a place in the final against Bayern Munich.

Mohaine Moutaouali fired home a controversial penalty in the 83rd minute and Vivien Mabide wrapped it up in stoppage time with a breakaway goal amid chaotic scenes.

Dec 18, 2013

Soccer-Raja stun Mineiro with two late strikes

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Raja Casablanca scored twice in the last 10 minutes to stun Brazil’s Atletico Mineiro 3-1 in their Club World Cup semi-final on Wednesday and earn a place in the final against Bayern Munich.

Mohaine Moutaouali fired home a controversial penalty in the 83rd minute and Vivien Mabide wrapped it up in stoppage time with a breakaway goal amid chaotic scenes.

Dec 18, 2013

Spray only works if refs get distance right, says Lippi

AGADIR, Morocco (Reuters) – The vanishing spray used by referees to stop defensive walls creeping forward at free kicks will only work if they measure the distance correctly, Guangzhou Evergrande coach Marcello Lippi said on Tuesday.

The former Italy and Juventus coach complained that the referee had made his team’s defensive wall move back “15 metres” at Bayern Munich free kicks during Tuesday’s Club World Cup semi-final, which the European champions won 3-0.

Dec 18, 2013

Soccer-Spray only works if refs get distance right, says Lippi

AGADIR, Morocco, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The vanishing spray used by referees to stop defensive walls creeping forward at free kicks will only work if they measure the distance correctly, Guangzhou Evergrande coach Marcello Lippi said on Tuesday.

The former Italy and Juventus coach complained that the referee had made his team’s defensive wall move back “15 metres” at Bayern Munich free kicks during Tuesday’s Club World Cup semi-final, which the European champions won 3-0.

Dec 17, 2013

Soccer-Bayern make light work of Guangzhou

AGADIR, Morocco, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Bayern Munich made predictably light work of Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande, dispatching the Chinese side 3-0 in their Club World Cup semi-final and hitting the woodwork five times on Tuesday.

Guangzhou, coached by Italy World Cup winner Marcello Lippi, held out for 40 minutes, gifted the European champions two soft goals in quick succession, conceded another right after halftime and defended heroically in the second half to keep the score respectable.

Dec 17, 2013

Bayern stroll to easy win over Guangzhou at Club Cup

AGADIR, Morocco (Reuters) – Bayern Munich made predictably light work of Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande, dispatching the Chinese side 3-0 in their Club World Cup semi-final and hitting the woodwork five times on Tuesday.

Franck Ribery and Mario Mandzukic, aided by poor defending, scored twice in a five-minute spell before halftime to put Bayern in control and Mario Goetze completed the win early in the second half against determined but lightweight opponents.