• Douglas double fires Hiroshima to third place

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    YOKOHAMA, Japan: Brazilian substitute Douglas scored a late double as Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima stunned Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande 2-1 to finish third at the Club World Cup on Sunday.

    Former Spurs midfielder Paulinho headed the Chinese in front after just four minutes in Yokohama, celebrating by racing to the bench to hold up the shirt of teammate Zou Zheng, who broke his leg in the 3-0 semifinal defeat by Barcelona.

    But Douglas stooped to nod home a deserved equalizer for the J-League title holders in the 70th minute after some poor defending. He then headed in the winner seven minutes from time to complete a dramatic turnaround.

    Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Ever¬grande had been overwhelming favorites to become the first Asian representatives to take third place at the tournament since South Korea’s Pohang Steelers in 2009. But they wilted badly after a strong start.

    Sanfrecce became the third Japanese team to win the third-place playoff after Urawa Reds in 2007 and Gamba Osaka in 2008.

    Pint-sized striker Hisato Sato was Hiroshima’s most potent attacker in the first half but Evergrande’s towering goalkeeper Li Shuai brilliantly thwarted the J-League’s joint record goal scorer on three occasions.

    Evergrande defender Zhang Linpeng saw a shot deflected on to the post, while Mei Feng cleared superbly off the line from Takuya Marutani at the other end in a see-saw game which really caught fire when Douglas came off the bench.

    European champions Barcelona were playing South America’s Libertadores Cup holders River Plate in the final later on Sunday.

    AFP

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