Goals from Neymar, Borges and Danilo gave Santos a 3-1 victory over Japanese champions Kashiwa Reysol this morning, securing the Brazilians a place in Sunday’s FIFA Club World Cup final.
Neymar set the Peixe on their way just 20 minutes in with a stunning left-footed strike that sailed into the top corner, leaving Kashiwa goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno with no chance.
“I was going to shoot first time,” revealed the 19 year-old of his decision to dummy his initial effort and check inside onto his weaker foot, “but then I saw the defender coming in very quickly, so I changed. I improvised at the end,”
Brasileirao top scorer Borges doubled the lead just five minutes later with a fine strike of his own. Kahiwa pulled one back through Hiroki Sakai ten minutes after the break, but a Danilo free-kick was enough to halt the Reysol’s surge.
“We played a great game and took a big step [today],” added Neymar. “Now we'll watch Barcelona [who will face Al-Sadd tomorrow]… Everyone likes to watch Barca, as they are the best in the world.”
After the game, Santos Coach Muricy Ramalho revealed his irritancy with the constant questioning of his side defensively. “This is what it’s like in Brazil,” he said. “If you place importance in the defensive system then they criticize the attack. If you go out to attack, say they you must defend.”
“In the other two games the Kashiwa had shown that they are a quality team and well organized. This was no surprise,” he added.