Even without Lionel Messi or Neymar, Barcelona strolled into the Club World Cup final thanks to a stunning solo performance from Luis Suarez. The final is on Sunday and Barcelona face a team from South America.
Even without the injured Lionel Messi and Neymar, Barcelona beat Guangzhou Evergrande 3-0 to advance to the final of the Club World Cup. Luis Suarez, the third member of the club's attacking trio, scored a hat trick to put Barcelona in Sunday's final againstSouth American champions River Plate.
Suarez put Barcelona ahead just before halftime, hammering in a rebound off Ivan Rakitic's long-range effort that was parried by Guangzhou goalkeeper Li Shuai. The striker made it 2-0 five minutes after the break when he controlled a pass from Andres Iniesta off his chest and beat Li with a right-footed volley. He put the result beyond doubt with a penalty kick after Huang Bowen took down Munir El Haddadi in the area.
Messi was diagnosed Thursday morning with renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly attributed to kidney stones. His availability for the final will "depend on the outcome of further medical tests," the club said in a statement. Neymar, who has been recovering from a groin injury, remained on the bench.
Guangzhou entered Thursday's semifinal on a 28-game unbeaten run, but Luiz Felipe Scolari's team couldn't stop Barcelona, who are bidding to win the tournament for a record third time after titles in 2009 and 2011.