Gareth Bale puts Real Madrid in Club World Cup final, nearly nets bicycle kick

By Alex Butler  |  Dec. 14, 2017 at 12:53 PM
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Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Real Madrid was tied with Al Jazira in a Club World Cup semifinal before Gareth Bale subbed into the match.

Bale led Los Blancos to a 2-1 victory Wednesday at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Los Blancos advanced to play in Saturday's final against Gremio.

Al Jazira struck first blood in the 41st minute of the match when the Brazilian striker Romarinho placed a shot in at the far post with his right boot, beating Keylor Navas.

Then it was time for Cristiano Ronaldo to get going. The Ballon d'Or winner hammered home a right-footed shot from inside the box to level things up in the 53rd minute. His rip beat keeper Ali Khasif.

Bale came into the game as a substitution in the 80th minute. He asserted himself immediately. Bale took a feed from the right side from forward Lucas Vazquez. The forward found Bale straight on, about 10 yards in front of the goal. Bale kicked in the go-ahead score with his left boot, fooling a crowded Khasif.

The Welshman almost struck again later in the match, when he nearly succeed in scoring off of a beautiful bicycle kick attempt.

"It's great to score," Bale told the team website. "You want to have an impact when you come on as a sub, but the most important thing is that we've won and we're in the final."   "I have to improve a bit, but I have to be patient. I've had a few problems, I have to listen to my body but I'm going to work hard both on and off the pitch to get back to where I want to be."

Bale has now scored three times in the Club World Cup. He now has four goals in the 2017-2018 campaign for Real Madrid. Ronaldo is the leading scorer in Club World Cup history with six goals.

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