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Gallant Kashima Antlers almost upstage Real Madrid and Ronaldo in CWC final

Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick, but he was overshadowed by a gallant Kashima Antlers in today's Club World Cup final.

The Spanish giants needed extra-time to see off the spirited Kashima Antlers 4-2 in Yokohama.

Normal time finished 2-2, with Kashima's pace making a mockery of Real's much-vaunted defence.

Karim Benzema's opener and Ronaldo's penalty weighed against a fine brace from Gaku Shibasaki, the Japanese team delighting 68,000 fans with their defiance.

However, Ronaldo took over in extra time as he struck twice to take the game away from the Japanese.

But even at 3-2, Kashima responded by rattling the crossbar through Yuma Suzuki. It needed Ronaldo to finally resolve things and he obliged, intercepting a Toni Kroos shot and slotting home himself to bring the trophy back to the Bernabeu.

The hat-trick capped an amazing 2016 for the Portuguese, who has won the Champions League, European Championship and Ballon d'Or.

Carlos Volcano
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Carlos Volcano

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