YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) â€” Yusuke Minagawa & Tsukasa Shiotani scored for Sanfrecce Hiroshima as the newly-crowned J.League champions beat Auckland City 2-0 Thursday in the opening match of the Club World Cup.
Minagawa scored in the ninth minute, tucking in a rebound from close-range after Auckland goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley stopped an effort from Gakuto Notsuda. Shiotani made sure of the win in the 70th with an angled shot from the right side of the penalty area.
Sanfrecce, which only had five days to prepare after sealing the domestic championship on Saturday, lost three players to injury.
p>"We were able to maintain our composure & didn't concede," Sanfrecce coach Hajime Moriyasu said. "Unfortunately we had to use all three of our substitutions for injured players."
Sanfrecce next faces African Champions League winner TP Mazembe in Osaka on Dec. 13, with the winner facing Argentine club River Plate in the semifinals on Dec. 16.
The tournament, which features the top clubs from FIFA's six continental confederations plus the champion of the host country, has returned to Japan for the first time since 2012.
Source: “Associated Press”