Substitute Gareth Bale scored Real Madrid’s winner as the European champions survived a scare to beat local side Al Jazira 2-1 on Wednesday and reach the Club World Cup final.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Bale scored with his first touch after coming off the bench in the 82nd minute.
Al Jazira’s Brazilian forward Romarinho gave the Abu Dhabi team a shock lead in the 40th minute of an action-packed encounter.
This was after heavy favourites Real twice hit the woodwork and had two goals ruled out, one after a long consultation between the referee and his video assistant.
Al Jazira looked to have doubled their lead one minute into the second half but the strike was correctly ruled out for offside and Cristiano Ronaldo eased Real’s nerves by smashing in equaliser in the 52nd minute.
Real continued to dominate and Karim Benzema twice hit the woodwork before being replaced by Bale.
Bale made an instant impact as he met Lucas Vazquez’s cutback to roll the ball into the bottom corner and book the holders’ place in Sunday’s final against South American champions Gremio of Brazil.