Match Recap: FIFA Club World Cup – Real Madrid v Cruz Azul

19 Dec

Casillas pregameWinning streak! I know it can’t go on forever but, with every match won, I get a little more giddy.

We have not won the FIFA Club World Cup, since it is only about 14 years old. In it’s first year we came in 4th. But due to our long wait for La Decima, we hadn’t competed again until now.

Lucky for us we didn’t have to travel very far. This year’s Club World Cup is being held in Morocco, which is a very short flight from Madrid.

Hello pretty! I love all the lights behind him. The geek in me keeps thinking “Look what Groot did for you!” I need to step away from the Marvel movies.


Cruz Azul: Corona; Pinto, Maza, Dominguez, Flores, Bernardello, Torrado, Chaco, Rojas, Formica, Pavone

Cruz Azul starting lineupReal Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Isco, Illaramendi; Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema

Real Madrid starting lineupBecause of travel plans and miscommunication, I missed the first 15 minutes of the match. I had someone record it for me but they couldn’t find the channel until 15 minutes after it started. It’s taken me this long to go back and find that first 15.

We got rolling quickly, with Crispy’s first shot in the only the 3rd minute. Corona did well to save it at the bottom corner. But Cruz Azul threatened right back. Dominguez missed a header after Sergio gave away a freekick.

There was plenty of fouling going on early in the match. By the 10th minute of the match, we’d won 3 freekicks while Cruz Azul had won 1 freekick.

Then, in the 14th minute, Fausto Pinto fouled Dani on the right. Kroos played the freekick into the box and The Pony got his beautiful noggin to it. I love Sergio’s head. No, I cannot think of any other way to put that. Yes, I realize it sounds dirty. Isn’t that what we’re about at HB&HB?

I love his goofy knee slide and fall over. I, obviously, prefer the backflip but I suppose that’s for very special occasions. This celebration is a very good substitute.

Cruz Azul were getting their own chances. And shortly after Sergio’s goal, Pavone attempted to cross the ball into the box but Iker was there to be our forcefield. Then Toni gave away a freekick that none of the forward Cruz Azul players could get to after it was touched on.

We had a good chance in the 32nd minute when Isco pushed the ball to Kroos. Toni took the shot with the side of his foot but it was saved by Corona.

Our next goal came in the 34th minute from War Kitten! Dani crossed the ball in and Benz volleyed the ball into it’s home at the back of the net.

So much for Benz being the Real Madrid flop, huh? Remember those days? Well, this was Karim’s 86th goal for Los Blancos. Not too shabby for a guy that lives in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo (I do not mean that in a derogatory way at all).

Things were going well. We had a two goal lead, there were lots of fouls but no cards had been shown. It was like I didn’t even know us anymore. Then Ramos decided to comfort us all and do what it is he does best. Earn a yellow card!

The problem was that, in the process of comforting us with his yellow card, he gave away a penalty. SMH at you Pony. S. M. H.

Torrado stepped up to take the penalty for Cruz Azul and shot to the lower left corner. Luckily, we have San Never Nude and he brought his forcefield. That shot was saved because Iker is a boss!

That’s penalty saves for Iker two games in a row. Iker has now made penalty saves for his country in the World Cup and for his club in the Club World Cup. Sergio thanked him in the way I think all of us would like to thank him.

Then Iker had to save our asses again when Illara made a bad backpass. One on one, he picked the ball away from Pavone, who had let it run just a little too far.

In the 42nd minute we were awarded a free kick in Ronaldo/Bale/Kroos territory. Ronnie stepped up to take it and it whizzed just over the crossbar. Feeling a bit like he’s having a hard time with the freekicks lately. You’ll get it, baby boy. You’ll get it!

We went into the break leading Cruz Azul 0-2 but not as comfortably as I think we’d like.

Second Half:

The second half started with Cruz Azul kicking off. We won the ball back quickly but then so did CA. Our defending wasn’t exactly on point at the start of the second half. Then again, I am a bit more harsh on defenders than I am on forwards. I like to call it “experiential criticism” and yes I just made that up. *ahem*

In the 51st minute, Isco started a run toward goal passing off to Benzema. Benz then found Cris on the left, and he floated the ball into the box where Bale’s headband awaited. Cruz Azul 0 – 3 Real Madrid!

Look how much love Gareth has for his boo! Do you think his inner monologue is taunting James and Jese? I bet he plots his revenge 23 hours of the day. His dreams probably involve hugging Cris in front of the two J’s to make them jealous.

On the restart (moving on before I get carried away), Marcelo earned a freekick down the line. Kroos played it in but it was cleared by Pavone. Carvajal took a foul from Chaco and (slightly on the petulant side) waved the Mexican’s hand away. Then, as we basically played keep away with the Mexican team, Bale was caught offside.

In the 59th minute, Cris tried to get good contact on an overhead kick. He really REALLY wants to Zlatan!

Then in the 62nd minute, Cris tried a rabona but it was saved by Corona. The bench loved it, minus Ancelotti. Look at his face. Hierro loves it but Ancelotti is so unamused. It makes me chuckle.

Cruz Azul were the first to make a change, bringing Fabian in to replace Chaco and Barrera replaced Pavone. Ancelotti also decided to make a sub. Ramos, on a yellow card, was sacrificed for our lovely Baby Varane.

It only took Barrera 3 minutes to make his impact felt when his shot smacked the inside of the post and bounced out. That was some serious good luck for us.

In the 66th minute, Isco was fouled 30 yards out and Bale took the freekick but it was miles over the bar. He’s got to work on those a bit, he hasn’t had luck lately.

In the 72nd minute, Isco did one of the things I love about him. Not just goal scoring but the manner in which he scores his goals. I LOVE that Isco doesn’t need a ton of space to shoot. He recognizes opportunities quickly and takes them. And Cris had his second assist of the game!

The Crisco connection brought us to four goals. And before the restart, we got some Sami in our lives. He replaced Lost Little Toni Kroos. Do you think Modric is happy someone else on the team looks lost all the time like he does?

In the 75th minute, Cruz Azul made their final change by bringing in Ismael Valadez for Rojas. And our final change was to get Jese some playing time but to lose Isco in the process. It’s alright though. I have serious love for the whole team. Sometimes we have to lose the ones we love to gain the ones we love. Philosophical thoughts by a gypsy…

Carvajal sliced an attempted clearance toward our goal and I almost died. I don’t think I could have handled an own goal. I can never handle own goals, actually. Luckily it went wide and out for a corner.

Marcelo, playing forward because I swear he’s a better winger than defender sometimes, had his pass into the box collected. Cruz Azul attempted a counter attack, but the Baby was there to be glorious and stop it.

Jese won us a corner in the 80th minute, but Varane couldn’t quite get the ball on target.

In the 84th minute, Sami hit the post with a header that came from Jese’s cross. With every match I can see the two of them getting better and better. Jese still has some fitness to work on but Holy Hannah I love the two of them.

In the 88th minute, Cris got his freekick on target but it was saved well by Corona. I think it deflected a bit off the ball. It just wasn’t Crispy’s night for the freekicks.

The ref added two minutes of extra time, and Varane began a counter attack after cutting out a pass by Barrera. Jese hit the side netting on the counter.

At the whistle, we recorded our 21st win in a row with a clean sheet and tied for the highest lead ever in a Club World Cup competition. Bring on the final!

Match Photos:

Post-Match Comments:

Ancelotti post matchAncelotti:

“The squad deserve the title and becoming world champions would be a perfect way to cap off a fantastic year”, he said.

Carlo Ancelotti analysed Real Madrid’s comprehensive 0-4 win over Cruz Azul and passage through to the final of the Club World Cup final: “We had the right amount of quality for this competition. We were strong, focussed and organised. The team behaved fantastically out there. They are prepared and always give their best”.

“We played a serious game. We started well from the outset. We scored early on and that made things easier for us. They could have minimised our advantage, but Casillas saved the penalty and in the second half we killed the game off on the counter attack with two goals. The pitch was perfect”.

The chance to win four titles in 2014
“I hadn’t thought about it but we are doing very well this year and there is one match left to finish it off well. We are really going to prepare for it because this team deserves the title and it would cap off a fantastic year perfectly if we were world champions”.

Ronaldo’s rabona
“It was his only way of shooting. I had never seen a shot like that before, but you never know quite what Ronaldo will do next. He didn’t score but he provided two assists for his team mates and that is important even if he doesn’t score”.

“We knew we had lots of fans there”

“We like being here, it is like playing at home. There is a good atmosphere and an ideal environment for playing at our best. Those are important aspects for us and we are happy to be playing in an environment like this and have this kind of support. Real Madrid is a really great club because of this”.

Ramos’ soreness
“We aren’t worried as it was simply a case of slightly hurting a muscle and he will recover well in two days and he will be available for the final”.

Opponents in the final
“We respect all of the teams. They have to play the semi-final. San Lorenzo have more experience with these types of games but anything can happen in football. We will prepare well for the final regardless of who our opponents are”.

The open training session in Rabat before the game
“We decided to do it because we have a lot of fans in Rabat. It was nice to have our supporters close to us”.

Ramos post matchRamos:

“We are in the final and we aim to put the icing on the cake”, stated Casillas

Real Madrid will play in the final of the Club World Cup after beating Cruz Azul. The three captains, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo, were happy with the win. The Andalusian defender, who scored the first goal, stated: “This is a year of statistics and records for Real Madrid. We are going through a good spell and we want to keep winning and making the Madrid fans happy.”

“The title we are competing for is the reward for last year’s work. We aim to win the title.”

“I am not in too much discomfort and we hope it isn’t anything serious. They are going to take a look at it tomorrow, and see how I am feeling then. I hope to play in the final”.

The goal and Casillas’ save
“I can’t complain. It is always good to score. As for Casillas, it is surprising for some people but not for me because I know that he is amazing at penalties”.


“I am happy with the way the team is playing”
“We knew that if the team was solid at the back then we were going to have a good game because up-front we have players who can create chances. We worked hardand were calm during the match and now we are happy and pleased”.

“The team is doing well. All of the players work together for the benefit of the team. We have made it to the final and we are now waiting to find out who are opponents are. We hope to put the icing on the cake to what has been a really good year, but we know that it won’t be easy”.

Social Media Corner:

Real Madrid Basketball Player Sergio Lull was tweeting during the match. He was just as excited as we are:

Iker is excited about being in the final and saving his second penalty within a week (as he should be):

Karim was thankful for being voted Man of the Match:

Bale compared himself to Alan Shearer (but really, that’s okay):

Arbeloa shared his excitement for being in the final:

Isco celebrated the victory by paying tribute to his cutie pie, who is 4 months old:

And Sergio left out the part about giving away a penalty:

The final is on Saturday! Bring on our next trophy!

¡Hala Madrid!

(images and gifs from GF Sports, the-vip-football-collection, football-hqs, and


2 Responses to “Match Recap: FIFA Club World Cup – Real Madrid v Cruz Azul”

  1. Mandy December 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    What do you mean when you say Luka and Toni look lost all the time? Awww… I miss Luka.

    San Never Nude?? What?

    I loved your little analogy, if I can call it that, on losing and gaining the ones you love in the subbing process. I know I wasn’t the only one who became a little verklempt when Jese stepped back on to the pitch and scored.

    • mygypsyspirit December 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

      Luka and Toni always have this look on their faces like they have no idea what’s going on. It cracks me up.

      We can thank Lozil and Maisougio for the San Never Nude moniker. Because he always is wearing a base layer if he does take his shirt off on the pitch.

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