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Wednesday, 14th December 2011
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Neymar helps Santos reach FIFA World Club Cup 2011 final

The Brazilian football team Santos have progressed to the final of the FIFA World Club Cup 2011 in Japan, after beating the Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol 3-1 in a riveting encounter at the Toyota stadium in the Aichi Prefecture today (December 13th).

With Spanish giants Barcelona expected to dispatch the Qatari side Al-Sadd, the prospect of a fascinating final looms when the World Club Cup comes to a close on December 18th at the International Stadium in Yokohama.

Having hit the post with a strike within five minutes, Brazilian wonder kid Neymar - in demand from many of Europe's leading clubs - gave his side the lead with a spectacular goal on 19 minutes.

When twenty-one-year-old Santos striker Borges doubled the lead five minutes later it appeared that the game was a foregone conclusion, before Kashiwa Reysol pulled one back on the 54th minute through Sakai.

Danilo wrapped up the match for Santos nine minutes later, however, to send Santos through to the final of the competition.

After the game, Santos coach Muricy Ramalho said: "There was no luck about the win and the goals were no surprise to me.

"Neymar, Borges and Danilo always score these kind of goals."

"We've played three matches in eight days," said Nelsinho, the Kashiwa manager who was sacked by Santos in 2005.

"We created chances but paid for not taking them."

Should Barcelona complete what many deem to be a formality in beating Al-Sadd, the European champions will line up against their South American counterparts.

Football experts are relishing the chance to see Lionel Messi, the Argentinian widely regarded as the best player in the world, line up on the same pitch as Neymar, a player many consider to be just a few years away from rivalling Messi for that crown.

The Fifa World Club Cup features the champions of each continent's football competition, with the hosts, Japanese domestic champions Kahiwa Reysol, also included in the tournament.

The 2011 competition featured Barcelona, Santos, Monterrey, Al-Sadd, Esperance, Auckland City and Kashiwa Reysol.

Written by Mark Smith