The Club World Cup was invented as a means to match up the best teams from each continent against each other for fun and profit. Somewhere along the line, a team from the host country was added into the mix, and on Wednesday, Raja Casablanca became the first team from a host nation to qualify for the final of the tournament. They were all over South American champions Atletico Mineiro after a rocky start, winning 3-1 in impressive fashion.
Atletico Mineiro dominated the first half hour of the match, but couldn't turn that into scoring chances. Their best opportunity of the first half came in the 33rd minute, when Fernandinho missed just wide with a low shot from inside the box. Raja started to hit back after that, with Mohsine Moutouali just missing with two solid chances late in the half.
Raja found a surprising opener early in the second half, with Mouhcine Iajour getting on the end of a diagonal through ball and taking advantage of some awful defending that saw him left alone in acres of space. Unfortunately for the very pro-Raja crowd, they weren't in front long, with Ronaldinho answering by way of a brilliant free kick goal in the 63rd minute.
The game appeared destined for extra time until the 83rd minute, when Réver took down Iajour in the box, leading to a penalty. Moutouali converted, forcing Atletico Mineiro to desperately chase the game late. With their defense exposed, Raja were able to add a third through Vianney Mabidé, who finished off a rebound after Moutouali hit the crossbar in the dying minutes.