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Sports

Ronaldo treble hands Real Madrid win in thrilling Club World Cup final

In a sluggish performance, Real Madrid won the Club World Cup in Japan thanks to another memorable performance from Cristiano Ronaldo. Although the losing team, Kashima Antlers held their own for longer than expected.

Real Madrid 4-2 Kashima Antlers a.e.t.
(Benzema 9', Ronaldo 60' pen., 98', 104' - Shibasaki 44', 52')

In perhaps the most thrilling Club World Cup game in the competition's history, Real Madrid needed another hat trick from star Cristiano Ronaldo to edge out Kashima Antlers 4-2 after extra time in Yokohama.

Karim Benzema had given Real an early lead after pouncing on a rebound, but shortly before the break Gaku Shibasaki got to a cross ahead of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane and volleyed into the far corner.

After the interval, the drama continued as Shibasaki found some space on the edge of the box and fired into the bottom corner to the delight of the Kashima fans in Yokohama's International Stadium.

The joy was short-lived though. The defending Champions League winners drew level just six minutes later though when Cristiano Ronaldo smashed home from the penalty spot.

Hat trick hero

With the game level and much closer than expected, Ramos blazed over at the back post from a corner as the Spanish visitors sought a winner. Ronaldo thought he had provided it when he scored the rebound after Benzema's original effort had been well saved by Kashima goalkeeper Hitoshi Sogahata, but he was ruled offside.

FIFA Klub-Weltmeisterschaft Finale Real Madrid v Kashima Antlers Gaku Shibasaki (Getty Images/AFP/T. Yamanaka)

Shibasaki equalizes for Kashima

With just over 10 minutes to go, Ronaldo headed over and had another effort saved by Sogahata as Real Madrid applied more pressure. With time almost up, Kashima almost stunned Madrid once and for all but Keylor Navas was equal to Fabricio's long-distance strike.

After Ramos evaded a second yellow card, extra time arrived. As 100 minutes loomed on the clock, Benzema slipped in Ronaldo and the striker tucked the ball home neatly. Soon after, Ronaldo smashed home his third - becoming the first man to score a hat trick in a Club World Cup final in the process - after Toni Kroos' effort landed at his feet. The victory is Real Madrid's second Club World Cup, their third trophy in 2016 and they become the team with the most 'international' titles (23).